Preview: Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues

Date published: February 23 2017

Edinburgh acting head coach Duncan Hodge has made three personnel changes to his starting XV to face Cardiff Blues at Myreside on Friday.

The forward pack remains from last week’s loss to Leinster, with all amendments being made in the back division.

Blair Kinghorn comes into start in the back-three where he will be joined by Rory Scholes, who is named on the wing.

Jason Tovey starts at fly-half with Duncan Weir on national team duty.

“There’s no hiding from the disappointment of last week’s result, but we need to put the defeat behind us and bounce back in tomorrow’s clash against Cardiff,” said Hodge.

“We didn’t make the most of the chances we created last week and that hurt us. It’s crucial that we learn from those mistakes and are more clinical this time around.

“We’re back at home and that’ll prove as a big boost for the side going into this encounter. We want to make amends for last week’s result in front of our supporters and give them something to cheer about.”

Damien Hoyland remains on the right wing and is joined by the incoming Kinghorn and Scholes in the back-three.

With the inclusion of Kinghorn, Glenn Bryce moves from full-back to start in midfield, where he will be joined by Chris Dean, who shifts from outside to inside centre. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne continues at half-back alongside Tovey.

Murray McCallum and Jack Cosgrove will prop either side of captain Neil Cochrane, with Ben Toolis and Fraser McKenzie named in the second-row.

Magnus Bradbury and Jamie Ritchie occupy the flanks, with Cornell Du Preez set to don the number eight jersey.

Meanwhile, Cardiff Blues have made two changes for the clash at Myreside.

Danny Wilson’s side claimed a bonus-point victory over Treviso last weekend and the majority remain in the starting line-up.

Wilson has made two changes, with Tom James making his first start of 2017 and Anton Peikrishvili coming into the front-row.

The Blues are currently eight points off the top six and have targeted three wins from the current block of four Championship matches.

And with two games left, Wilson insists his side have to triumph in the Scottish capital to keep their hopes intact.

He said: “The top six has to be our goal, we got five points on the weekend and we know from this block of four games we need to win three to give ourselves any opportunity and four out of four in an ideal world.

“Obviously the Connacht game didn’t go to plan and we have to win the next two games to have any chance.

“We proved at the start of the year with consistency of squad selection, and players we’ve recruited, being available to us that we can beat anyone on our day.”

With Sam Warburton on Wales duty and both Josh Navidi and Ellis Jenkins on the sidelines, Sion Bennett, who scored a try on his first start last weekend, remains in the number seven jersey. Kirby Myhill covers the back-row from the replacements bench.

Form: Edinburgh have slipped to three straight defeats in the Guinness PRO12, whilst their only victory in the last seven rounds was against Zebre in Parma on New Year’s Eve. Edinburgh’s overall record at Myreside in the PRO12 is won two, lost three, with their most recent victory at the venue being against Ospreys two years ago. Cardiff Blues ended a three game losing run in the Guinness PRO12 with their 57-20 victory over Treviso on Saturday. The Blues two most recent away victories in the Championship have both been on trips to Italy this season. Cardiff Blues have lost just one of their last eight fixtures with Edinburgh: 13-28 at Murrayfield in November 2014. The Blues have never played at Myreside before.

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Glenn Bryce, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Rory Scholes, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 Cornell Du Preez, 7 Jamie Ritchie, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Murray McCallum, 2 Neil Cochrane (c), 1 Jack Cosgrove
Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Derrick Appiah, 18 Kevin Bryce, 19 Grant Gilchrist, 20 Lewis Carmichael, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Junior Rasolea, 23 Michael Allen

Cardiff Blues: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Willis Halaholo, 12 Steve Shingler, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Josh Sion Bennett, 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Jarrad Hoeata, 4 George Earle, 3 Anton Peikrishvili, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Rhys Gill
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 James Down, 20 Kirby Myhill, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Garyn Smith, 23 Aled Summerhill

Date: Friday, February 24
Venue: Myreside, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 19:05 GMT
Referee: David Wilkinson (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Mark Patton (Scotland), Cammy Rudkin (Scotland)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

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