Preview: Edinburgh v Zebre

Date published: April 23 2015

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Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons has made just one enforced change to his starting XV for Friday's clash with Zebre at Murrayfield.
 
Moving up from the bench to full-back, in place of Jack Cuthbert who is carrying an injury from last weekend's win, is Tom Brown.

Two of last week's try scorers, Dougie Fife and Tim Visser, retain their places on the wing along with the centre partnership of Sam Beard and Andries Strauss, at outside and inside centre respectively.
 
There's no change in the halfback pairing with Phil Burleigh at fly-half and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, who racked up 25 points last Friday, at scrum half.
 
The pack is also unchanged since last weekend with Alasdair Dickinson at loosehead, WP Nel at tighthead and Ross Ford at hooker. Anton Bresler and Friday's man of the match Ben Toolis maintain their partnership at lock with Roddy Grant and Stuart McInally on the openside and blindside flank respectively.
 
Coming on to the bench to cover Tom Brown's move into the starting XV is full back/fly-half Carl Bezuidenhout and retaining his place in the substitutes is scrum half Nathan Fowles, recently announced as signing for the club on a one-year deal.
 
Solomons said: "Last Friday was fantastic but it lies in the past and we are now moving forward on Zebre.
 
"Every game for us is vital and we need to perform accordingly.”

Meanwhile Zebre have rung the changes to their starting side.

In the backline there are four changes with Giulio Toniolatti and David Odiete taking over from Dion Berryman and Michele Visentin on the wings respectively, while Mirco Bergamasco takes over from Matteo Pratichetti at outside centre and Guglielmo Palazzani replaces Brendon Leonard at scrum-half.

In the forwards, Andries Van Schalkwyk shifts from number eight to the openside flank to make way for Samuela Vunisa at the base of the scrum. Van Schalkwyk replaces Mauro Bergamasco in the number seven jersey.

Other changes in the pack sees Marco Bortolami  and Valerio Bernabò coming into the second row at the expense of George Biagi and Quintin Geldenhuys while Matias Aguero is preferred to Andrea De Marchi at loosehead.

Form: Edinburgh, who became the first Scottish side ever to reach a European Cup final at the weekend, have lost just one of their last five encounters in all tournaments: 3-34 at home to Munster in the PRO12 on 11th April. Edinburgh have lost their last two PRO12 matches at Murrayfield since beating Glasgow there in the 1872 Cup game on 2nd January. Zebre's only victory in the PRO12 since November was 23-17 at home to the Dragons in round 16. The Italians have recorded only one away victory in their three seasons of PRO12 participation – at Cardiff Blues in September 2013. The two sides have met on five previous occasions with Edinburgh taking the first three and Zebre the most recent two, only one of those encounters being an away victory: 9-7 by Edinburgh in Parma in March 2013. The only Italian club side to have won at Murrayfield is Benetton Treviso in the PRO12 in October 2012.

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Tom Brown, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Sam Beard 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Phil Burleigh, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 Mike Coman (c), 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Neil Cochrane, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 John Andress, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Carl Bezuidenhout.

Zebre: 15 Hendrik Daniller, 14 Giulio Toniolatti, 13 Mirco Bergamasco, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 David Odiete, 10 Luciano Orquera, 9 Guglielmo Palazzani, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 6 Filippo Cristiano, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Valerio Bernabò, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Matias Aguero.
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Andrea Lovotti, 18 Luca Redolfini, 19 Andrei Mahu, 20 Filippo Ferrarini, 21 Alberto Chillon, 22 Matteo Pratichetti, 23 Brendon Leonard.

Date: Friday, April 24
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 19:35 BST (18:35 GMT)
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Mike Adamson (Scotland), Stephen Hart (Scotland)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

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