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Moffat challenged players to build on Leinster win

Guinness PRO12 Editor

28 Sep 2010

Leinster's Brian O'Driscoll tackled by Edinburgh's Scott MacLeod

Edinburgh head coach Rob Moffat has challenged his players to step up from their opening Magners League victory of the season for what he believes will be a physically demanding away match against Aironi on Saturday – the first time Edinburgh have faced an Italian club in the competition.

Moffat has made five changes to the team that started the 32-24 success against Leinster. Jim Thompson makes his first appearance of the season – having recovered from tidy-up knee surgery over the summer – in place of Chris Paterson who took a knock to his left foot on Friday.

Elsewhere Greig Laidlaw and Kyle Traynor will start at 9 and 1 respectively – with Mike Blair and Allan Jacobsen on the bench – while in the back-row Fraser McKenzie is in for Delhi bound Scott Newlands at blindside flanker and Alan MacDonald is back from the hip problem which he sustained against Cardiff at openside instead of Ross Rennie.

Moffat said: "It's important we build on what we did well against Leinster on Friday, especially that spell in the second-half where we scored three tries.

"This weekend is about improvement. We realise Aironi are searching for their first win but they will be tough opposition, particularly up front. We simply cannot afford to drop back into some of the individual errors we made in the first three league games."

Moffat explained that Paterson was now engaged in a rehabilitation programme with the Edinburgh physios with a view to being ready for the Heineken Cup game against Cardiff a week on Saturday. "His X-ray was clear so we are pleased there was no fracture, so we're hoping he'll be right for the Cardiff game," he added.

The other changes Moffat put down to managing his squad, while he also congratulated the six Edinburgh players who are flying out today to represent Scotland 7s in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi – Alex Blair, John Houston, Lee Jones, Stuart McInally, Scott Newlands and Andrew Turnbull.
Edinburgh team to play Aironi in the Magners League at Stadio Zaffanella on Saturday 2 October, kick-off 7.05pm local time (live on BBC ALBA):

15 Jim Thompson

14 Mark Robertson
13 Ben Cairns
12 Alex Grove
11 Tim Visser

10 David Blair
9 Greig Laidlaw

1 Kyle Traynor
2 Ross Ford
3 Geoff Cross
4 Esteban Lozada
5 Scott MacLeod
6 Fraser McKenzie
8 Roddy Grant CAPTAIN
7 Alan MacDonald


16 Andrew Kelly
17 Allan Jacobsen
18 David Young
19 Craig Hamilton
20 David Denton
21 Mike Blair
22 James King
23 Tom Brown