Edinburgh Rugby today welcomed the return of three front-line players for tomorrow's RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Munster at Musgrave Park (kick-off 7.45pm) " live on BBC ALBA.
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With Roddy Grant and Lewis Niven both ruled out for the rest of the season (making 14 absentees through injury and international duty) head coach Michael Bradley was able to name Wales internationalist John Yapp (prop) [pictured], South African lock, Izak van der Westhuizen, and Scotland cap, Tom Brown, back in the side after two months out with injury.
Also returning to the fold are successful Scotland A exponents Ben Cairns (centre), Dougie Fife (wing), back-row Stuart McInally " who"ll make his 50th appearance for the club " and full-back Greig Tonks, who has recovered from the ankle strain he picked up in the win over the England Saxons.
The club travel seeking their first win at the fourth time of asking against the Munstermen this season, though this is the first outing at their spiritual home in Cork.
Edinburgh Rugby head coach, Michael Bradley, said: 'the international window is a challenging time for all of the squads in the RaboDirect PRO12, so we"re delighted to welcome back three quality players for such a big match.
|Edinburgh Rugby team v Munster (kick-off 7.45pm)|
15 Greig Tonks
14 Dougie Fife
13 Ben Cairns
12 Ben Atiga
11 Tom Brown
10 Piers Francis
9 Richie Rees
1 John Yapp
2 Andy Titterrell
3 Willem Nel
4 Perry Parker
5 Izak van der Westhuizen
6 Sean Cox CAPTAIN
7 Stuart McInally
8 Netani Talei
16 Steven Lawrie
17 Allan Jacobsen
18 Alex Allan
19 Grant Gilchrist
20 Hamish Watson
21 Chris Leck
22 Gregor Hunter
23 Lee Jones
'there's a good and dangerous balance to our side. There's a lot of size, power and mobility in our pack and there's a good bit of pace and guile in the backs.
'the challenge for us is to combine these elements and put in an aggressive and well-managed performance for the full 80 minutes.
"Munster are three from three against us this season so will be full of confidence going into another home game for them, however we"re very happy with the strength of this squad and will be going all out with a score to settle."
With just four points separating the second to sixth-placed teams, Munster (in sixth) will be looking to build on their run of four wins in five games in all competitions, while ninth-placed Edinburgh seek a more palatable place in the division.
Of note is that the Irishmen's notorious home record varies with the venue, with the club winning their last nine games at Thomond Park, but losing their last two at tomorrow's venue, Musgrave Park.
Naturally Edinburgh will be keen to exploit that potential chink in the home side's armour, though they must cast their minds back to 2006 when they last achieved that feat, with long-serving replacement prop, Allan Jacobsen, the only survivor in the travelling ranks.
Yapp, is joined by hooker Andy Titterrell and tight-head Willem Nel in the front-row, Perry Parker packs down with van der Westhuizen in the boiler-house and captain Sean Cox and number 8 Netani Talei join McInally in the back-row.
All Black back Ben Atiga partners Cairns in midfield while by half-backs Richie Rees (scrum-half) and Piers Francis (stand-off) look to orchestrate the proceedings from the pivot positions.
The squad also welcome the return of Steven Lawrie (hooker) and Grant Gilchrist (lock), who were released from the Scotland squad in the latter half of the week, so start the match on the bench.
Players on international duty: Geoff Cross, David Denton, Ross Ford, Greig Laidlaw, Matt Scott, Tim Visser.
Players absent through injury: Nick De Luca (face), Jamie Farndale (leg), Roddy Grant (wrist), James King (head), Lewis Niven (bicep), Ross Rennie (shoulder), Steven Turnbull (knee), George Turner (hip).
Players released to the RBS Premiership: Alex Black (Edinburgh Accies), Harry Leonard, Sep Visser (Boroughmuir), Alun Walker (Melrose).