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Moffat demands big start

Guinness PRO12 Editor

31 Aug 2010

Head coach Rob Moffat is demanding a big start to Edinburgh’s 2010-2011 Magners League campaign as he names his team today for Saturday’s opening match away to Cardiff Blues.

Fresh off a 19-17 warm-up fixture against London Irish last weekend, he has listed three players for Magners League debuts in the starting line-up – Fijian internationalist Netani Talei at No 8, Scotland cap Alex Grove at inside centre and the 22-year-old Scotland sevens internationalist and former Selkirk back Lee Jones on the right wing.

Elsewhere Phil Godman holds off the strong challenge of David Blair to take the ten jersey for what will be his 100th Magners League appearance, while Scott MacLeod and Andrew Kelly return to the squad.

Moffat said: "We're really looking forward to the start of the season. I think we got a lot out of both our warm-up fixtures against Bath and London Irish – not least the amount of game time across the squad and whether it was first year pros or the elite boys any number of them put their hands up and pushed for selection."

In that regard Moffat praised Lee Jones who scored a second-half try brace against London Irish. Jones has won a starting berth ahead of both Mark Robertson and Andrew Turnbull. "Lee deserved a start. He's got a tremendous work ethic, has trained very well and has been a great example for others," he explained.

Turning to the game Moffat added: "We are excited to be starting the league. We began really well last season when we beat Cardiff in Cardiff in our first game. In fact we have won on our last three league visits to Cardiff.

"Cardiff finished last season very well and had a good win against the Dragons in Martyn Williams' testimonial game last Friday so we know it will be tough on Saturday."

Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues in the Magners League on Saturday 4 September at Cardiff City Stadium, kick-off 6.30pm, live on S4C:

15 Chris Paterson
14 Lee Jones
13 Ben Cairns
12 Alex Grove
11 Tim Visser
10 Phil Godman
9 Mike Blair
1 Allan Jacobsen
2 Ross Ford
3 Geoff Cross
4 Fraser McKenzie
5 Scott MacLeod
6 Alan MacDonald
8 Netani Talei
7 Roddy Grant CAPTAIN

16 Andrew Kelly
17 Kyle Traynor
18 Jack Gilding
19 Craig Hamilton
20 Scott Newlands
21 Greig Laidlaw
22 David Blair
23 John Houston