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Six changes to Edinburgh side for Zebre encounter

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

30 Dec 2016

Will Helu

Acting Head Coach Duncan Hodge has made six personnel changes to his starting side to face Zebre in round 12 of the Guinness PRO12 at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, tomorrow (Saturday 31 December, kick-off 12 noon local / 11am GMT).

The personnel changes are split evenly between the forwards and backs, with three amends being made to the respective divisions.

The only change to the back-three is on the wing where Will Helu starts, while Junior Rasolea is named at inside centre.

Sean Kennedy – who picked up his 50th Edinburgh Rugby cap when he came off the bench in Monday’s game against Glasgow – starts at scrum-half in the final change to the back-line.

In the front-row, Allan Dell replaces Alasdair Dickinson in the loosehead berth, while Fraser McKenzie comes in to pack down at lock.

The final change in the starting side comes in the back-row where Jamie Ritchie is named on the openside flank.

Acting Head Coach Duncan Hodge said: “It’s been a tight turnaround from the Glasgow game, but the players have refocused quickly on the task at hand, which is a tough away clash with Zebre.

“They’re a physical outfit and always raise their game in front of their home crowd, so there’s no doubt we’re in for an challenging encounter in Parma.

“There’s a bit of rotation in the starting side, but we’re fully confident that this team can take on Zebre in all areas of the game.”

Blair Kinghorn – who recently re-signed with the club on two-year deal – retains the starting full-back spot, with Damien Hoyland remaining on the right-wing and Helu completing the back-three.

Chris Dean continues at outside centre and will partner Rasolea in midfield.

Ross Ford captains the side from hooker and is joined in the front-row by Simon Berghan and the incoming Dell, while the incumbent Ben Toolis partners McKenzie in the second-row.

The newly re-signed Magnus Bradbury remains on the blindside flank, with Ritchie donning the number seven shirt and Cornell Du Preez at number eight.

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Zebre
Guinness PRO12, Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Saturday 31 December, kick-off 12 noon local / 11am GMT

15. Blair Kinghorn
14. Damien Hoyland
13. Chris Dean
12. Junior Rasolea
11. Will Helu
10. Duncan Weir
9. Sean Kennedy

1. Allan Dell
2. Ross Ford
3. Simon Berghan
4. Fraser McKenzie
5. Ben Toolis
6. Magnus Bradbury
7. Jamie Ritchie
8. Cornell Du Preez

16. Neil Cochrane
17. Jack Cosgrove
18. Murray McCallum
19. Lewis Carmichael
20. Viliame Mata
21. Nathan Fowles
22. Jason Tovey
23. Glenn Bryce

Players unavailable due to injury: Michael Allen (knee), Phil Burleigh (head), Kevin Bryce (shoulder), Alasdair Dickinson (foot), John Hardie (ankle), WP Nel (neck), Alex Northam (Achilles), Rory Sutherland (groin), Hamish Watson (ribs)