Preview: Edinburgh v Treviso

Date published: October 6 2016

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Edinburgh head coach Duncan Hodge has made five personnel changes to his starting side for Friday's PRO12 encounter with Treviso at Murrayfield.

Prop Rory Sutherland will make his 50th Edinburgh appearance and will lead the team out to mark the occasion.  

In the backs, 19-year-old Blair Kinghorn will make his first start of the season at full-back, while wing Tom Brown returns from the groin injury which ruled him out of last week's match-day squad.

Two of the three changes in the forward pack come in the back-row where Hamish Watson is promoted from the bench to start at openside flanker, while Nasi Manu returns to fitness to feature in his first game since the season opener in Cardiff.

The final change is in the front-row where prop Ewan McQuillin will start at tighthead prop.

As part of the partnership agreement between Scottish Rugby and London Scottish, McQuillin travels north to join Edinburgh Rugby on a temporary basis, while Nick Beavon heads south to stake his claim for game-time with the Richmond outfit in the English Championship.

Scottish Rugby Academy prop Murray McCallum is included on the bench, and will debut for the club if he takes to the field.

Hodge said: "It's been a difficult week with changes being brought in on a number of levels, but the players have been extremely positive in their reaction and trained well.

"Technical aspects of the game let us down last week but our desire and commitment was outstanding. We have looked to address the technicalities in training and hope to see an improvement in what is a huge game for the club on Friday."

He continued: "Treviso are a strong outfit and will pose a tough challenge but we're looking forward to getting back in front of a home crowd at Murrayfield and putting in a big performance for our supporters.

"We see this game as a chance to get back to winning ways before we head into the first rounds of European rugby."

Incoming Kinghorn and Brown will be joined in the back-three by Damien Hoyland, who dotted down twice to score in his previous run-out against Treviso.

To accommodate for Brown's inclusion, Michael Allen – who has scored in three of his four appearances this season – moves to outside-centre, with Chris Dean also shuffling infield to don the number 12 jersey.

Sean Kennedy and Jason Tovey remain as the half-back pairing.

Club stalwart Ross Ford joins Sutherland and McQuillin in the front-row, while captain Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis continue at lock.

Magnus Bradbury remains in the back-row alongside Watson and Manu.

Meanwhile, Treviso have made three changes to their starting line up ahead of their match in Edinburgh. 

In the backline, Luke McLean goes from wing to full-back with Andrea Buondonno taking his place in the 11 jersey. The only other change to the backline is Edoardo Gori replacing Giorgio Bronzini at scrum-half.

In the pack, Marco Lazzaroni will start on the open side after being promoted from the bench with Dean Budd dropping out of the squad completely. 

Form: Edinburgh have won just once in the last nine rounds of the Guinness PRO12: 20-9 at home to Scarlets on 9 September. The Scotsmen’s only defeat to an Italian opponent in their last seven such meetings was 11-19 to Zebre in Parma on 24 October 2015. Benetton Rugby Treviso have won just one of their last half a dozen Guinness PRO12 matches: 27-11 at home to Newport Gwent Dragons in round 4 this season. Treviso have not won away from home since beating Zebre 26-16 in Parma in December 2014. Edinburgh have won their last four fixtures against Treviso since the Italians’ 20-16 victory at Stadio Monigo in March 2014. Treviso’s most recent victory in Scotland was against Edinburgh at BT Murrayfield in October 2012.

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Blair Kinghorn, 14 Damien Hoyland, 13 Michael Allen, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Grant Gilchrist(c), 4 Ben Toolis, 3 Ewan McQuillin, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Rory Sutherland

Replacements: 16 Stuart McInally, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Murray McCallum, 19 Lewis Carmichael, 20 John Hardie, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Glenn Bryce, 23 Solomoni Rasolea

Treviso: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Angelo Esposito, 13 Tommaso Benvenuti, 12 Alberto Sgarbi(c), 11 Andrea Buondonno, 10 Tommaso Allan, 9 Edoardo Gori, 8 Abraham Steyn, 7 Marco Lazzaroni, 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Marco Fuser, 4 Filo Paulo, 3 Simone Ferrari, 2 Ornel Gega, 1 Alberto De Marchi
Replacements: 16 Luca Bigi, 17 Matteo Zanusso, 18 Cherif Traore, 19 Filippo Gerosa, 20 Andrea Pratichetti, 21 Tito Tebaldi, 22 Ian McKinley, 23 David Odiete

Date: Friday, October 7
Venue: BT Murrayfield
Kick-off: 19:35 BST (18:35 GMT)
Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)
Assistant Referees: Rhys Thomas (WRU), Dunx McClement (SRU)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (WRU)

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