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Nel to become Edinburgh Rugby centurion

Guinness PRO12 Editor

15 Sep 2016

Edinburgh Rugby prop Willem ‘WP’ Nel will lead the team out as the club’s 24th centurion against Leinster at BT Murrayfield tomorrow night (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC ALBA.

The 15-times capped Scotland tighthead, who signed for the capital outfit ahead of the 2012/13 season, has started 83 of his 99 appearances to date, scoring 75 points through 15 tries.

Tomorrow Nel lines up in a settled Edinburgh side with Head Coach Alan Solomons making three changes – two personnel and one positional – from the team that defeated Scarlets 20-9 last weekend.

Tongan internationalist Viliami Fihaki will make his competitive debut for the club at number 8 in place of the rested Jamie Ritchie, prompting a switch to the blindside for young back-row Magnus Bradbury.

Hamish Watson replaces fellow openside John Hardie who continues his graduated return-to-play protocol following a head knock sustained against the Welshmen.

Glenn Bryce continues at full-back with last week’s try-scorer Michael Allen and Tom Brown remaining on the wings.

Sasa Tofilau makes his third competitive start for the club at outside-centre with Phil Burleigh keeping a hold of the number 12 shirt.

Last week’s Guinness Man of the Match Duncan Weir and Nathan Fowles continue to build their half-back partnership as they make their third consecutive start together.

Centurion Nel, Ross Ford and Rory Sutherland form the front-row with captain Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis starting once again at lock.

Solomons said: “It was good to get the win under our belt last week.

“We know we need to build on that, but appreciate that we will have to be at our best against a powerful Leinster outfit.”

Players not available due to injury: Alasdair Dickinson (hamstring), Simon Berghan (foot), Anton Bresler (groin), Jack Cosgrove (knee), John Hardie (concussion), Nasi Manu (ribs), Jason Tovey (wrist), Will Helu (hamstring), Damien Hoyland (groin).

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Leinster
Guinness PRO12, BT Murrayfield, Friday 16 September, kick-off 7.35pm – live on BBC ALBA

15. Glenn Bryce
14. Michael Allen
13. Sasa Tofilau
12. Phil Burleigh
11. Tom Brown
10. Duncan Weir
9. Nathan Fowles

1. Rory Sutherland
2. Ross Ford
3. WP Nel
4. Ben Toolis
5. Grant Gilchrist CAPTAIN
6. Magnus Bradbury
7. Hamish Watson
8. Viliami Fihaki

16. Stuart McInally
17. Allan Dell
18. Kevin Bryce
19. Fraser McKenzie
20. Cornell Du Preez
21. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
22. Solomoni Rasolea
23. Blair Kinghorn