International trio return for Leinster match

Edinburgh Rugby welcome a trio of Scotland internationalists back into the fold for tomorrow night's RaboDirect PRO12 return against Leinster at Murrayfield Stadium (kick-off 7.35pm).

Captain Greig Laidlaw, centre Nick De Luca and newly re-signed number 8, David Denton – who all missed Sunday’s Heineken Cup away win over Gloucester – will start the match, while several of the Sunday’s successful exponents have retained their place.

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Head coach Alan Solomons said: “Rotation is always very important and, with so many big games in such a short space of time, it becomes absolutely vital.

“We have begun to use the squad more effectively and are now able to bring fresh players back in for this game, which I think is a positive for the team.

“These players are freshened up and are really keen to play.

They obviously would have loved to have been part of Sunday's win, but now they have a fantastic opportunity to contribute in a big game for us.

“We appreciate that Leinster are one of, if not the top side in Europe, so it presents a massive challenge to which we are really looking forward.”

Squad selection...

Greig Tonks, a late positional change against Gloucester, retains his place at stand-off; Jack Cuthbert, Tom Brown and Dougie Fife are reinstated as the back-three, while try-scorer Ben Atiga partners to the returning De Luca in midfield.

Similarly, man of the match winner Roddy Grant retains the open-side berth alongside Denton and the increasingly ever-present blind-side, Cornell Du Preez.

The pack changes are completed by lock Ollie Atkins and prop Alasdair Dickinson, who come off the bench in place of injured lock Izak van der Westhuizen (groin strain) and Wicus Blaauw, who moves to the bench.

Another notable inclusion is the selection of former Hawke’s Bay captain and number 8 Mike Coman and on-loan stand-off Tony Fenner, who could make their club debuts if called upon from the bench.

Edinburgh Rugby have won four of their last six games in all competitions, while at home in the RaboDirect PRO12 the club has lost one game since April (22-9 to Scarlets in round four).

However, they face a Leinster side which has won the last five of the clubs’ meetings.

 

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Leinster at Murrayfield Stadium tomorrow night (20 December, kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC ALBA

 

15 Jack Cuthbert

 

14 Dougie Fife

13 Nick De Luca

12 Ben Atiga

11 Tom Brown

 

10 Greig Tonks

Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN

 

Alasdair Dickinson

Ross Ford

Willem Nel

Grant Gilchrist

Ollie Atkins

Cornell Du Preez

Roddy Grant

David Denton

 

Substitutes

16 Aleki Lutui

17 Wicus Blaauw

18 Geoff Cross

19 Sean Cox

20 Mike Coman

21 Grayson Hart

22 Tony Fenner

23 Sam Beard