Preview: Zebre v Edinburgh

Date published: October 23 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Edinburgh_back_Phil_Burleigh

For the first time this season, Zebre can select a team that includes their Italian internationals that took part in the Rugby World Cup.

Except for centre Gonzalo Garcia, who is recovering from his injury suffered in the match against Ireland a few weeks ago, all the other ten Azzurri players are selected in the 23 with seven of them as starters.

Zebre are looking for their first win of the season as Scotland's capital side travels to Parma aiming to maintain its 100 percent win record this season.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh have made three changes to the team that defeated Ulster last time out.

Moving up from the bench and in at full-back is Jack Cuthbert and outside centre Will Helu, replacing the injured Greig Tonks and Chris Dean respectively.

Tom Brown and Damien Hoyland remain in the right and left wing berths while Andries Strauss retains the number 12 jersey to partner Helu in the centre.

The half-back pairing of fly-half Phil Burleigh and scrum-half Nathan Fowles remains the same as last week.

There is just one change to the pack, with loosehead Rory Sutherland returning to the fray following his late call-up to the Scotland squad just hours before kick-off against Ulster last Friday.

Neil Cochrane at hooker and John Andress at tighthead retain their places while Anton Bresler and Fraser McKenzie remain at lock.

In the back-row, captain Mike Coman remains on the blindside, last week’s try scorer Hamish Watson at openside and Nasi Manu at number eight.

Coming on to the bench, with Helu and Cuthbert moving to the starting spots, are Dougie Fife, Blair Kinghorn – who may make his senior debut – and Rugby World Cup returnee Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.

Form: Zebre have lost their last ten PRO12 matches since beating Dragons 23-17 in Parma in March, a run which has seen them gain just one league point and scoring 12 tries but conceding 48. Edinburgh have made their best start ever to a PRO12 campaign and remain one of only three sides with a 100 per cent winning record after four rounds. Edinburgh's only loss on the road since early March came when they visited Dragons in Round 21 last season. Zebre have beaten Edinburgh twice before, something they have only previously achieved against Cardiff Blues. Edinburgh have not been victorious in Parma since defeating Zebre there in March 2013.

The teams:

Zebre: 15 Kayle Van Zyl, 14 Dion Berryman, 13 Michele Visentin, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Leonardo Sarto, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Andries Van Schalkwyk, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Jean Cook, 5 George Biagi (c), 4 Quintin Geldenhuys, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Pietro Ceccarelli, 19 Valerio Bernabò, 20 Jacopo Sarto, 21 Luke Burgess, 22 Guglielmo Palazzani, 23 Edoardo Padovani.

Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Tom Brown, 13 Will Helu, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Damien Hoyland, 10 Phil Burleigh, 9 Nathan Fowles, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Mike Coman (c), 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Anton Bresler, 3 John Andress, 2 Neil Cochrane, 1 Rory Sutherland.
Replacements: 16 George Turner, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Bergha, 19 Alex Toolis, 20 Cornell Du Preez, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Dougie Fife, 23 Blair Kinghorn.

Date: Saturday, October 24
Venue: Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Kick-off: 14:30 local (12:30 GMT)
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (IRFU)
Assistant Referees: Elia Rizzo, Luca Trentin (both FIR)
TMO: Carlo Damasco (FIR)

COMMENTS