Preview: Zebre v Edinburgh

Date published: November 28 2014

Edinburgh boss Alan Solomons has made two changes to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Guinness PRO12 clash with Zebre in Parma.

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons has made two changes to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Guinness PRO12 fixture against Zebre in Parma.

Returning from international duty to take left wing and hooker berths respectively are Tim Visser and Ross Ford. Late replacement last weekend for centre Sam Beard, Matt Scott stays at 13 with a recovered Beard coming on to a bench which has only one other change, with the addition of James Hilterbrand who started against the Blues.

“The team winning on Sunday against Cardiff meant when I came back to train on Tuesday, the boys were upbeat and looking forward to the match this weekend,” said hooker Ford.

“Zebre have shown some good form at home this year so we’ll have to execute well and play to the best of our ability to get a good result.”

Returning from injury to the pack for Sunday’s win, flanker Roddy Grant added: “They’re big physically, they’ve got a big forward pack and have some strong runners in the back line.

“It’s a big challenge to front up physically and that’s an aspect of the game we enjoy, as a pack.”

Meanwhile, Zebre will be without Matias Aguero, Mauro Bergamasco, Tommaso D’Apice, Filippo Ferrarini, Gonzalo Garcia, Tommaso Iannone, Luciano Leibson and Edoardo Padovani.

They will however be boosted by the return of eleven internationals, with Marco Bortolami leading a side that includes Kelly Haimona and Leonardo Sarto at ten and wing respectively.

Form: Zebre have lost their last four Guinness PRO12 fixtures since beating Ulster in Parma in round 4. The Italians only previous victory over a Scottish opponent came in this equivalent fixture last season. Edinburgh’s solitary defeat in their last five matches in all tournaments came on a trip to Leinster in round 7 of the PRO12. The Scotsmen have lost their last two fixtures against Italian opponents, and have never lost three in a row against such adversaries. Edinburgh have won three of the four previous fixtures they have played against Zebre.

The teams:

Zebre: 15 Hendrik Daniller, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Giulio Bisegni, 12 Matteo Pratichetti, 11 Giulio Toniolatti, 10 Kelly Haimona, 9 Brendon Leonard, 8 Samuela Vunisa, 7 Filippo Cristiano, 6 Valerio Bernab