Duncan Hodge has picked about the strongest side he can muster with current injuries, making four changes from the team that fared so poorly against the Scarlets.
Jason Tovey starts in place of Duncan Weir while fellow Scotland international Hamish Watson returns to the side.
Murray McCallum starts at loosehead prop for Allan Dell (concussion), while Ross Ford captains the side from hooker. There’s a pretty decent back row of Bradbury, Hardie and Manu all absent through injury.
Grant Gilchrist finally earns a starting spot having spent a good portion of his games so far warming the bench, begging the question what happened to Ben Toolis? He’s been one of Edinburgh’s better players so far.
While we’re on Edinburgh second rows, it was announced this week that Melrose and Edinburgh second row Lewis Carmichael will go to struggling Super Rugby side the Western Force on a short term loan aimed at player development, joining Murray Douglas (Melbourne Rebels) in the Scottish lock hothousing department.
With La Rochelle flying high in the Top14, Edinburgh may well struggle in this one, home field advantage or no. It’s a return to the cavern of BT Murrayfield but the performances on the field have undone some of the good work off it to build a crowd at Myreside.
They will, however, relish the chance to take their minds off recent dismal PRO12 performances and refocus on Europe, which hasn’t been a disaster.
Edinburgh team to face La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, BT Murrayfield, Friday 31 March, kick-off 8pm – live on Sky Sports
15. Blair Kinghorn, 14. Damien Hoyland, 13. Chris Dean, 12. Phil Burleigh, 11. Tom Brown, 10. Jason Tovey, 9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne; 1. Murray McCallum, 2. Ross Ford (capt), 3. Simon Berghan, 4. Anton Bresler, 5. Grant Gilchrist, 6. Viliame Mata, 7. Hamish Watson, 8. Cornell du Preez.
Replacements: 16. Stuart McInally, 17. Kyle Whyte, 18. Kevin Bryce, 19. Fraser McKenzie, 20. Viliami Fihaki, 21. Nathan Fowles, 22. Duncan Weir, 23. Glenn Bryce
Players unavailable due to injury: Magnus Bradbury (knee), Jack Cosgrove (ankle), Allan Dell (concussion), Alasdair Dickinson (foot), John Hardie (knee), Nasi Manu (shoulder), WP Nel (neck), Rory Sutherland (groin), Ben Toolis (back)