After ringing the changes for their Heineken Cup clash this weekend, Michael Bradley has challenged his Edinburgh troops to prove themselves worthy of a spot when domestic action returns.
Four internationals return to Bradley’s first XV for tonight’s clash with Racing Metro in the form of former All Black Ben Atiga and Ben Cairns in the centres, Fiji’s Netani Talei in the back row and Georgia’s Dimitri Basilaia on the bench.
And with a key RaboDirect PRO12 double header against Glasgow Warriors next up for the Gunners in the 1872 Cup derby Bradley wants his side to put their hands up for future selection.
“We’re delighted to welcome the timely return of these four players from injury, all of whom have the potential to make a significant contribution to our Heineken Cup and RaboDirect PRO12 campaigns at a crucial period in the season,” he said.
“It’s important that they get up to speed as quickly as possible and put pressure on their peers for a place in the playing squad in some massive games coming up in the next two months.
“The two Bens [Cairns and Atiga] in the centre offer a new and exciting partnership, while their availability means we now have a number of midfield combinations available going forward.
“The return of these players adds a significant level of competition for places and, in the case of Dimitri [Basilaia] and Netani [Talei], an up-weighted physicality, which is welcome against such a combative side as Racing Metro.
“All of these players are straining at the leash, are desperate to get a win for Edinburgh Rugby and to put in a performance worthy of reselection.”