Caps Back For Clash Of Capitals

Nick De Luca returns to outside-centreEdinburgh Rugby welcome the return of three Scotland internationalists for tomorrow night's capital clash with Cardiff Blues at Murrayfield Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm).

Back-row David Denton and prop Geoff Cross, on the field replacements in Scotland's 34-10 win over Italy, return from the international camp to start the match, while centre Nick De Luca has recovered from the fractured eye socket that has kept him sidelined for the past three months.

Edinburgh have already enjoyed an away reverse against their capital counterparts, courtesy of a last minute drop-goal from captain Greig Laidlaw, making tomorrow's match the first chance for a home and away double this season.

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Head coach Michael Bradley, said: "Our position in the league [ninth] puts a finer point on the need for us to perform well and win this match at home.

"We have some key players back with us from injury and from the Scotland camp, which will undoubtedly help our efforts to relive the success we enjoyed over Cardiff at the beginning of the season.

Edinburgh Rugby team v Cardiff Blues

Murrayfield Stadium (kick-off 7.30pm)

15 Greig Tonks

14
Dougie Fife
13
Nick De Luca
12
Ben Atiga
11
Lee Jones

10
Gregor Hunter
9
Richie Rees

1
John Yapp
2
Steven Lawrie CAPTAIN
3
Geoff Cross
4
Grant Gilchrist
5
Izak van der Westhuizen
6
David Denton
7
Stuart McInally
8
Netani Talei

Substitutes

16
Andy Titterrell
17
Allan Jacobsen
18
Willem Nel
19
Sean Cox
20
Hamish Watson
21
Chris Leck
22
Harry Leonard
23
Tom Brown


'they [Cardiff] are currently six points and two places above us in the RaboDirect PRO12, so it's plain to see the value of a home win as we look to climb the table in the end-of-season run in."

Despite the returning trio, the club are without four notable absentees, with Matt Scott, Ross Ford and round two try-scorer and match winners, Tim Visser and Laidlaw, who remain in the international camp.

In Laidlaw's stead starts 21-year-old stand-off, Gregor Hunter, promoted from the bench from last Saturday's loss to Munster and one of seven changes to the starting line-up.

Like Hunter, Lee Jones (wing), Grant Gilchrist (lock) and Steven Lawrie (hooker) are all elevated replacements from last weekend, with Lawrie captaining the side for the second time in his career.

The reinstatement of Dougie Fife and Greig Tonks completes the back three, Ben Atiga partners De Luca in midfield and the returning Richie Rees will join Hunter at half-back.

In the pack John Yapp retains the loose-head shirt against his former club, Izak van der Westhuizen partners Gilchrist at lock, while Stuart McInally and Netani Talei pack down with Denton.



Players absent through injury: 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
: Harry Leonard (game time dependant), Sep Visser and Ben Cairns (Boroughmuir), Alun Walker (Melrose), Michael Penn, Piers Francis and Perry Parker (Heriot's), Robert McAlpine (Stirling County), Alex Black (Edinburgh Accies), Chris Leck (game time dependant) and John Houston (Currie).