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Preview: Edinburgh v Munster

08th September 2010 13:47

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chris paterson

Chris Paterson: Veteran full-back takes over Edinburgh captaincy

Edinburgh coach Rob Moffat has challenged his squad to build on the positive parts of last week when Munster visit the capital on Friday.

The game, Edinburgh's first competitive home fixture of the new campaign, will see at least one player make a full debut in the black and red.

Argentina lock Esteban Lozada has recovered from a back complaint suffered in pre-season and will line up in the second row alongside Scott MacLeod.

Stuart McInally, the former Watsonians number eight who previously captained the Scotland U20 team, is also in line to make his first competitive appearance, having been named on the replacements bench.

Mark Robertson, Scott Newlands and Ross Rennie will all make their first starts of the season in a team that shows four changes from the side that ran out at the Cardiff City Stadium.

Injuries have forced Moffat to remodel his back row, Alan MacDonald (hip) and Roddy Grant (swollen knee) both obliged to sit out this week's game. In Grant's absence, Chris Paterson will captain the side.

Moffat wants his men to turn the flashes of quality they showed in the Cardiff match into something more sustained against Munster, believing there to be "enough of a base" to feel confident ahead of Friday's showdown.

"We were clearly disappointed to lose against Cardiff, and the performance, overall, wasn't good enough, but having watched the game back a number of times, I'm happier than I was immediately after full-time," he said.

"We actually played a lot of good stuff, but we gave ourselves plenty to do by conceding a couple of soft scores. What I want from the players this week is to do themselves justice with a more complete performance, and there's absolutely no doubt we'll need it against a side of the quality of Munster."

Moffat has offered commiserations to Grant - whom he made captain in the summer - but knows that, in Paterson, he has an inspirational replacement as leader. The full-back scored all of Edinburgh's points in the 12-7 success recorded in the corresponding fixture last October.

"Chris has performed really well on his return from that serious [kidney] injury, and has immediately set the standards we are all familiar with," said Moffat.

"It's unfortunate for Roddy that he isn't available for this game, but we look forward to welcoming back in due course, along with Alan MacDonald, who was also going well last week before he took a knock to his hip.

"Scott Newlands and Ross Rennie are two quality individuals to be able to call on, and I've every confidence they will grasp the opportunity."

Meanwhile, Munster have stuck with exactly the same back-line that overcame Aironi at Musgrave Park last weekend. There is a start for Donncha Ryan at lock, who moves forward from the back row to replace Billy Holland, while Alan Quinlan will occupy the six jersey.

"Our away form wasn't good last season, that's something we are very conscious of and looking to improve. This weekend is an opportunity to begin that process and so it's a massive game for us," said Team Manager Shaun Payne.

Form: Edinburgh have slipped to five straight defeats in the Magners League, however at Murrayfield they have won four of their last five games in all competitions. Edinburgh's most recent victory over an Irish side was 12-7 in this equivalent fixture at Murrayfield last October. Munster's victory over Aironi last Saturday ended a four game losing run in all competitions. The Munstermen have not won outside Ireland in the Magners League since a trip to the Scarlets on 19 September 2009. Munster have won just one of their last five encounters against Welsh opponents: 23-17 over Scarlets in Cork on 18 March. Edinburgh's only victory over Munster in their last seven meetings was 12-7 at Murrayfield in round six last season. Munster's record at Murrayfield is an excellent won 5, lost 1.

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Chris Paterson (c), 14 Mark Robertson, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Alex Grove, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 7 Ross Rennie, 8 Netani Talei, 6 Scott Newlands, 5 Scott MacLeod, 4 Esteban Lozada, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen
Replacements: 16 Andrew Kelly, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Jack Gilding, 19 Fraser McKenzie, 20 Stuart McInally, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 David Blair 23 John Houston.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett, 13 Johne Murphy, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Ian Dowling, 10 Paul Warwick, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Denis Leamy (capt), 7 Niall Ronan, 6 Alan Quinlan, 5 Mick O'Driscoll, 4 Donncha Ryan, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Damien Varley, 1 Wian du Preez.
Replacements: 16 Denis Fogarty, 17 Marcus Horan, 18 John Hayes, 19 Donncha O'Callaghan, 20 Peter O'Mahony, 21 Tomas O'Leary, 22 Ronan O'Gara, 23 Danny Barnes.

Date: Friday, 10 September
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 19:05
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)
Assistant referees: Graham Knox (Scotland), Alan Forrest (Scotland)
Television match official: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

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