Head coach Michael Bradley has made eight personnel changes to the Edinburgh Rugby squad for the club’s return to the RaboDirect PRO12 against Ospreys at Murrayfield this Friday (kick-off 7.35pm).
Just three weeks after booking a home Heineken Cup quarter-final with a 34-11 win over London Irish, the club’s focus now turns to the first of six consecutive rounds of domestic business which begins against the second-placed Welshmen.
Despite nine of the club’s players committed to the Scotland’s RBS 6 Nations campaign, the line-up has a familiar feel, with several of the season’s top performers taking to the field as Murrayfield turns back to black and red.
The club also welcomes the return of four players from Scotland A’s 35-0 defeat of England Saxons at Netherdale last Friday – Tom Brown and Matt Scott at wing and outside-centre and back-rows Stuart McInally and Roddy Grant, who will captain the side.
Head coach Michael Bradley said: “At the start of the season the Rugby World Cup presented some of our younger players with an opportunity to stake a claim for a place in the Edinburgh Rugby side and their success has been reflected by an increasing prominence for Edinburgh Rugby and, for some, selection for Scotland and Scotland A.
“We’re now approaching a time where these players are no longer considered ‘up and coming’ but as important members of the Edinburgh Rugby squad, and with that comes the pressure to perform.
“We know all about our success in securing a place in the Heineken Cup quarter-final but we aren’t where we’d like to be in the RaboDirect PRO12 and it’s time to address that starting this Friday against an Ospreys side at the business end of the championship.”
Looking to keep the club on track in the international window is the championship’s top try-scorer Tim Visser, who starts his 50th championship appearance on the wing.
John Houston reforms a winning centre partnership with the returning Matt Scott while Phil Godman and Chris Leck start their first match as a half-back pairing.
With the club’s all international front-row preparing to face Wales at the Millenium Stadium on Sunday, Kyle Traynor, Alun Walker and Jack Gilding start the match, with new Argentinian signing Ulises Gamboa ready to make his debut from the bench.
Sean Cox and Grant Gilchrist pair up in the second-row and Netani Talei completes the pack at number 8.
Edinburgh Rugby team to play Ospreys at Murrayfield on Friday 10 February (kick-off 7.35pm) live on BBC ALBA:
15 Chris Paterson; 14 Tom Brown, 13 Matt Scott **, 12 John Houston, 11 Tim Visser; 10 Phil Godman, 9 Chris Leck; 1 Kyle Traynor, 2 Alun Walker, 3 Jack Gilding, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 5 Sean Cox, 6 Stuart McInally, 7 Roddy Grant CAPTAIN, 8 Netani Talei
Substitutes: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Ulises Gamboa, 19 Esteban Lozada, 20 Alan MacDonald, 21 Alex Black, 22 Gregor Hunter, 23 Jim Thompson **
** Please note that the club await the match-day fitness test of outside-centre Matt Scott and full-back replacement Jim Thompson with Dougie Fife and Sep Visser available for selection if required.