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Four changes for Edinburgh

Guinness PRO12 Editor

4 Mar 2010

Rob Moffat has handed Simon Webster his first start of the season for Edinburgh for the visit of Magners League leaders Ospreys at Murrayfield on Sunday (7 March, 2pm).

Blair brothers, Mike and David will form the half-back combination. Scotland wing Webster has only registered two replacement appearances for Edinburgh so far this season after suffering a hamstring injury.

Now, after starting for Scotland A last weekend, he has reclaimed Edinburgh’s number 11 jersey for the visit of high-flying Ospreys; much to the delight of Moffat.

Moffat said: "Webbo (Simon Webster) is looking sharp and has got some game-time under his belt – we’re looking forward to welcoming him back into the starting line-up.

"We realise that Sunday’s match is going to be really tough; Ospreys are top of the table because they have been consistently good.

"But league positions can change very quickly and it is important that we make the most of our home advantage to put ourselves back in the play-off spots."

Webster’s inclusion into the starting line-up is one of four changes with flanker Ross Rennie returning after a knee injury, lock Steve Turnbull promoted into the side after captaining Gael Force and Mike Blair being handed both the scrum-half berth and captaincy for the match.

As a result, it will be the first time that Mike has lined up alongside younger brother David in Edinburgh’s starting team since November 2007. Meanwhile, hooker Andrew Kelly – impressive against Munster – will record his 100th Magners League appearance for Edinburgh on Sunday.

Now in his sixth season as a professional, the 27-year-old becomes only the second Edinburgh player to reach that career milestone; following in the footsteps of front row colleague, Allan Jacobsen. Full-back Jim Thompson is ruled out with a minor knee injury, but the Scotland A internationalist, who signed a new deal on Wednesday, is expected to be back for the visit of Scarlets on Friday 26 March.

On the bench, hooker Sean Crombie returns to the squad after a lay-off with an ankle injury and he is joined by Scotland internationalist Phil Godman.

Long term casualty Simon Cross is still out with a knee injury along with Andrew Easson (knee). Allister Hogg is still ruled out with a hip injury and Chris Paterson is expected to be out for eight weeks with a damaged kidney.

Edinburgh Rugby Club team to play Ospreys
Magners League at Murrayfield
(Sunday 7 March, kick off 2pm, live on S4C)

15 Ben Cairns
14 Mark Robertson
13 Nick De Luca
12 John Houston
11 Simon Webster
10 David Blair
  9 Mike Blair (captain)
  1 Kyle Traynor
  2 Andrew Kelly
  3 Geoff Cross
  4 Scott MacLeod
  5 Steve Turnbull
  6 Alan MacDonald
  7 Ross Rennie
  8 Roddy Grant

Substitutes: Sean Crombie, Ryan Grant, Craig Hamilton, David Callam, Greig Laidlaw, Phil Godman, Tim Visser

Edinburgh season ticket holders are reminded that, for the Ospreys match only, the Saughtonhall Car park will have very limited access, so supporters are advised to arrive early. The car park, which will open at 11am, is restricted due to a hospitality marquee for the England match occupying most of the land. Should the car park be full by the time you arrive, parking may be available on the surrounding streets.