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Edinburgh aim to reignite the capital campaign

Guinness PRO12 Editor

25 Oct 2012

Edinburgh Rugby tackle second-placed Scarlets at Murrayfield Stadium tomorrow in a battle between two sides desperate to get back to winning ways (kick-off 7.35pm, live on BBC ALBA).

The teams go into the match still reeling from double defeats in the Heineken Cup and will undoubtedly see domestic success as the perfect tonic for their European woes.

Seven places separate the sides in the PRO12 but a win has the potential to propel the hosts up the table and reignite their competitive campaign.

Bradley [pictured] said: “Our intention is simply to get back on the winning trail, and get back on it as soon as possible.

“The PRO12 is really tight just now. All but the top and bottom teams are on two, three or four wins, so success can shoot you up the table very quickly. But we need to strike now.

“We know we have a lot of talent in our side and we know we’re a good rugby team, but we haven’t been able show it, so the key this week has been to focus on ourselves, and what we can control.”

One element that is outwith the club’s control is the availability of five players from Sunday’s loss to Munster.

Ben Atiga (hamstring), Dimitri Basilaia (knee), Netani Talei (knee), Geoff Cross (head knock) and Gregor Hunter (head knock) were all injured in the match, while captain Greig Laidlaw has yet to recover from the shoulder injury he picked up against Saracens.

The club’s losses are tempered by the return of top try-scorer Tim Visser in a back line orchestrated by incoming half-backs Harry Leonard and Chris Leck, who replace the injured Hunter and scrum-half Richie Rees, who starts on the bench.

Matt Scott comes in for what would normally be a straight swap for Atiga, however Bradley has brought the experience of Nick De Luca closer to the coalface at inside-centre, with midfield partner Scott starting at 13.

In the forwards, Willem Nel replaces the injured Cross at tight-head prop, Andy Titterrell will start at hooker, with Ross Ford available from the bench, and open-side flanker Ross Rennie comes in alongside David Denton and Stuart McInally.

Bradley added: “It’s a very big match for us, particularly because it’s at home. We all want to see a quality performance and for the team to get back to winning ways.

“We have an opportunity to do that against a very strong Scarlets team at home tomorrow and hopefully, with a colourful and vocal black and red crowd, we can get the result.”

Scarlets have won just once in nine visits to Murrayfield however, true to this season’s domestic form, can take confidence from having already tasted Scottish success thanks to an 18-13 reverse at Scotstoun in September.

Prior to the match non-playing members of the squad will kit out the first fans to the public bar (all ages welcome) with supporter scarves, while club staff will hand out 1500 free flags to fans as they arrive at the ground.

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Scarlets at Murrayfield Stadium on Friday 26 October (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC ALBA

15 Greig Tonks

14 Lee Jones
13 Matt Scott
12 Nick De Luca
11 Tim Visser

10 Harry Leonard
9 Chris Leck

1 John Yapp
2 Andy Titterrell
3 Willem Nel
4 Grant Gilchrist
5 Sean Cox CAPTAIN
6 David Denton
7 Ross Rennie
8 Stuart McInally

16 Ross Ford
17 Robin Hislop
18 Lewis Niven
19 Robert McAlpine
20 Roddy Grant
21 Richie Rees
22 John Houston
23 Tom Brown

Not available through injury: Ben Atiga (hamstring), Dimitri Basilaia (knee), Ben Cairns (knee), Geoff Cross (head knock), Jamie Farndale (leg fracture), Gregor Hunter (head knock), Allan Jacobsen (hamstring), Greig Laidlaw (shoulder/neck), Steven Lawrie (knee), Perry Parker (knee), Netani Talei (knee), Steven Turnbull (knee), Sep Visser (shoulder).