Ten changes for Cup visit of Irish

After registering their first defeat in this year’s European Challenge Cup competition, there are ten changes to the starting XV for the return fixture against London Irish tomorrow (Friday 18 December) at BT Murrayfield.

Switching from stand-off to fullback is Greig Tonks while winger Damien Hoyland moves up from the bench to start on the right wing, with Tom Brown transferring to the left wing.

Michael Allen retains his spot at outside centre and is partnered by Matt Scott who returns on the inside. There’s a change to the half-back partnership with Phil Burleigh returning at stand-off and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne moving up from the bench to start at scrum half.

Of last weekend’s front row, Rory Sutherland remains at loosehead in place of the injured Alasdair Dickinson, where he’s partnered with the returning Ross Ford at hooker and WP Nel at tighthead. The lock combination of Anton Bresler and Alex Toolis remains, while Mike Coman returns to lead the team at blindside, John Hardie comes back at openside and Cornell Du Preez retains the no 8 jersey.

Edinburgh currently lie third in pool 5, the table topped by tonight’s opponents after their bonus-point win at the Madejski last Saturday, added to try bonus and losing bonus points from their two out of three wins. Grenoble, who Edinburgh beat at home, have also won two of their three games but sit one place above the home side by virtue of a try bonus point.

While no 8 Cornell Du Preez lies equal second in the try-scoring table for the competition, with three dots, lock Alex Toolis leads the table for most lineouts won (29), 13 ahead of Harlequins’ Charlie Matthews in second.

Head coach Alan Solomons said: “We played poorly last week and need to put matters right this weekend.”

Players not considered due to injury: Alasdair Dickinson (calf), Grant Gilchrist (groin), Roddy Grant (knee), Nasi Manu (neck), Stuart McInally (neck), Fraser McKenzie (neck), Jade Te Rure (knee), Ben Toolis (arm), Hamish Watson (knee).

Mince pies, fairy lights and the 1872 Scottish Cup
The annual inter-city derby kicks off at BT Murrayfield this year when current Cup holders Edinburgh meet Glasgow, with Scottish pride, bragging rights - and the chance to catch the eye of the national coaching team ahead of the RBS 6 Nations - at stake. Tickets for the match on Sunday 27 December (kick-off 3.05pm) are on sale now, online, by phone (0131 346 5180) and in person from the Ticket Centre in Roseburn Street. Add them to your Christmas wish list and start a festive tradition!
Edinburgh Rugby v London Irish
Friday 18 December 2015, BT Murrayfield, k/o 7.30pm
15 Greig Tonks
14 Damien Hoyland
13 Michael Allen
12 Matt Scott
11 Tom Brown
10 Phil Burleigh
9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
1 Rory Sutherland
2 Ross Ford
3 WP Nel
4 Anton Bresler
5 Alex Toolis
6 Mike Coman (capt)
7 John Hardie
8 Cornell Du Preez
16 Neil Cochrane
17 Allan Dell
18 Simon Berghan
19 Jamie Ritchie
20 Magnus Bradbury
21 Sean Kennedy
22 Andries Strauss
23 Jack Cuthbert