Planet Rugby

Preview: Edinburgh v Aironi

01st December 2011 13:19


Tim Visser try Edinburgh v Leinster

Tim Visser: Back for Edinburgh

A host of internationalists return to Edinburgh's line-up for Friday's RaboDirect PRO12 clash with Aironi.

The hosts will be looking to retain a strong home record of six wins from eight matches.

One week out from the Heineken Cup, Chris Paterson and James King are the only backs to retain a place in the starting line-up from last weekend's defeat to Munster.

The pair are joined by returning wingers Lee Jones and Tim Visser, centre Nick De Luca and young pivot Harry Leonard, who made his debut against the Italians in September.

The club's international front-row trio of Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford and Geoff Cross also return and pack down ahead of Argentine internationalist, Esteban Lozada, and the promising young Grant Gilchrist at lock.

The pack is completed by a back-row trio of Sean Cox, who recently put pen to paper on a two year deal, Roddy Grant and David Denton at number eight.

Having kicked off their Heineken Cup campaign with back-to-back wins over London Irish and Racing Metro, the club are keen to bring their European form into domestic business.

The capital club defeated the Italians home and away last season but left Parma in September with a losing bonus point, secured by Leonard's boot.

"This is a big match for us because we lost to Aironi over in Italy. They played better than we did on the day and their set-piece dominated us," said Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley.

"We do not want to lose twice to Aironi in a single season. We have to back up our European performances.

"With 25 minutes to go in the Racing Metro match the crowd were off their feet, they were clapping and roaring on the boys and to us on the sideline it was almost inevitable that we would get the try we needed.

"They all shared in a fantastic day and were a crucial part of that win. This is exactly what we need to impose our home advantage when teams come to Murrayfield."

Form: Edinburgh's three game winning run in all competitions was snapped by Munster at Thomond Park on Saturday. Edinburgh have won six of their last eight matches at Murrayfield and have never lost at home to an Italian opponent. Aironi have lost seven consecutive clashes since beating Edinburgh 25-19 at Stadio Zaffanella in Viadana in round four of the RaboDirect PRO12. Aironi are yet to achieve an away victory in the history of the franchise.

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Chris Paterson, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 James King, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Greig Laidlaw (c), 8 David Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Sean Cox, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Esteban Lozada, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Steven Lawrie, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Netani Talei, 20 Ross Rennie, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Tom Brown, 23 Phil Godman.

Aironi: 15 Ruggero Trevisan; 14 Sinoti Sinoti, 13 Matteo Pratichetti, 12 Gabriel Pizarro, 11 Giovanbattista Venditti, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Tito Tebaldi; 8 Josh Sole, 7 Filippo Ferrarini, 6 Nicola Cattina, 5 George Biagi, 4 Quintin Geldenhuys (c); 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Roberto Santamaria, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Salvatore Perugini, 18 Lorenzo Romano, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Frans Viljoen, 21 Tyson Keats, 22 Gilberto Pavan, 23 Giulio Toniolatti.

Date: Friday, 2 December
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 19:30 GMT

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