Edinburgh Rugby head coach Alan Solomons has called for a performance befitting outbound captain and scrum-half Greig Laidlaw, in the club’s last home game of the season at Meggetland this Saturday (3 May, kick-off 5pm) – live on BBC ALBA.
Laidlaw will lead an unchanged backline at the Colinton club ground however injuries to the club’s middle and back-rows enforce a personnel change to the pack.
Edinburgh Rugby team v Munster
Tomorrow (Saturday3 May) at Meggetland (5pm)
15 Jack Cuthbert
A head knock in last weekend’s match against Glasgow means Izak van der Westhuizen joins second-rows Sean Cox (hamstring) and Ollie Atkins (knee), and back-rows Roddy Grant (ankle) and Hamish Watson (leg) on the sidelines.
As a result, David Denton starts his first match at second-row since earning age-grade international honours, with last weekend’s try-scorer, Tomas Leonardi, taking the vacated loose forward berth.
Solomons said: “Over the last two weeks we’ve had difficulties in the second-row, and now the back-row, with injuries.
“This means David [Denton] moves into lock out of necessity and young Ben Toolis – a player of much promise but limited experience – joins the bench.
We are fortunate that we have the necessary cover in the back-row, with Dimitri Basiliaia returning from international duty and injury, though we are obviously thin at lock.”
The club host beaten Heineken Cup semi-finalists Munster, whose defeat to Toulon in Marseille on Saturday means their focus is now fixed on securing one of the two home knockout slots.
Reflecting on tomorrow’s contest, Solomons added: “Munster are historically a very resilient team and I expect them to bounce back from that defeat immediately.
“They have made it clear since that game that their attention is totally on the PRO12 and that they are determined to come here and secure a win.
“It’s our last home game of the season, and it’s Greig Laidlaw’s last home match as captain before he leaves, so there is a lot to play for from our side in that respect.
“Munster are motivated by the fact that they want to secure the best possible playoff spot.
We are motivated by the fact that it has been a very tough season and we would like to finish our home campaign on a good note by delivering a good performance, for Greig [Laidlaw] and for our supporters in this last home match.”
Tickets Saturday 3 May – Edinburgh Rugby v Munster Rugby, Meggetland (kick-off 5pm) - BBC ALBA
Munster make a total of 11 changes to the side that started against Toulon as they return to action in the RaboDirect PRO12.
A new look front row sees James Cronin and John Ryan pack down on either side of Duncan Casey. Having featured last weekend against Toulon, Cronin makes his first start for the province since Treviso in March.
The familiar duo of Paul O'Connell and Donncha O'Callaghan combine forces in the second row while Tommy O'Donnell and Paddy Butler return to the starting line-up alongside CJ Stander in the back row.
Last time out in the league Butler impressed with a man of the match performance, securing the bonus point try at the Sportsground.
JJ Hanrahan suffered no ill effects from the last 20 minutes of last weekend's encounter in Marseille and partners up with Conor Murray in the half backs.
Denis Hurley and Johne Murphy, both of whom signed new contracts with Munster this week, form the centre partnership. While Simon Zebo switches to full-back this weekend with Andrew Conway and Gerhard Van Den Heever introduced on the wings.
The province take a strong bench to Scotland that includes five of last weekend's starting team, and Luke O'Dea is named in his first senior squad of the season after overcoming a string of injuries.