Edinburgh Rugby welcome the return of three Scotland internationalists into the starting line-up for this Saturday’s RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Benetton Treviso at the Stadio Monigo (kick-off 7pm local time) – live on BBC ALBA.
Edinburgh Rugby team v Treviso
Stadio Monigo, Saturday 29 March
Kick-off 7pm local time – live on BBC ALBA
15 Carl Bezuidenhout
14 Jack Cuthbert
13 Matt Scott
12 Andries Strauss CAPTAIN
11 Tom Brown
10 Harry Leonard
9 Grayson Hart
1 Alasdair Dickinson
2 Ross Ford
3 Willem Nel
4 Grant Gilchrist – vice captain
5 Izak van der Westhuizen
6 Cornell Du Preez
7 Roddy Grant
8 David Denton
16 James Hilterbrand, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Ewan McQuillin, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Sean Kennedy, 22 Sam Beard, 23 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
David Denton (back-row), Matt Scott (centre) and Alasdair Dickinson (prop) – the latter withdrawn before last weekend’s loss against Ulster – are all set to start the match in Italy, as three of four personnel changes to the side.
The trio replace the injured Mike Coman (neck strain), Sam Beard and Wicus Blaauw respectively while the season-ending hand injury to wing Dougie Fife brings about a back division shuffle.
Jack Cuthbert moves to the wing to replace Fife, allowing Carl Bezuidenhout to move to full-back to accommodate Harry Leonard, who starts at stand-off.
Head coach Alan Solomons, said: “After a week's break following a rigorous RBS 6 Nations, the players have come back fresh and full of vigour, and are really looking forward to the game.
It’s great to have them back, they are excellent players, and I expect them to make a big contribution on Saturday.
- - Head coach Alan Solomons
“Matt [Scott] has played 13 before. He’s an explosive and powerful player and has all the attributes to do well there.
"I feel that he and Andries [Strauss], who captains the side in place of Mike Coman, will form a really effective patnership.”
The club have won three of their last four matches against Italian opposition and hold a slight edge on the meetings between the sides, winning three from the previous five head-to-heads.
The club have picked up losing bonus points in their last two away outings, against Connacht and Scarlets, with Solomons acknowledging that it’s time to take another step in the incremental improvement evidenced by the side this season.
He said: “When a side is evolving and developing like ours, you find your form at home, with all the advantages that it brings. That's where you tend get your results early on.
As we are improving, our form on the road has been better, but I do feel that if we have a good performance we are capable of getting a result.
“I would like to see us take that next step and do that on the road.”