Preview: London Irish v Edinburgh

11th Nov 2011, 12:39

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Harry Leonard: Heineken Cup debut

Harry Leonard: Heineken Cup debut

Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley has made one change to his starting XV for Saturday's Heineken Cup opener with London Irish.

Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley has made one change to his starting XV for Saturday's Heineken Cup opener with London Irish at Madejski Stadium.

Stuart McInally moves from the bench to eight at the expense of Fijian internationalist Netani Talei, with that move making space for Roddy Grant.

The squad has been boosted by the return of lock/flanker Sean Cox, who returns for his first match following a knee injury sustained against Scarlets last month, and centre James King - who comes into the squad at the expense of Steven Turnbull and Chris Leck respectively.

The stability in selection means that Bradley has shown faith in his young performers with fly-half Harry Leonard, centre Matt Scott and lock Grant Gilchrist making their Heineken Cup debut while full-back Tom Brown is set to do likewise if called upon from the bench.

Meanwhile, London Irish boss Toby Booth has made three changes and a positional change from the side that took on Leicester last week, sighting home games as key.

James Buckland lines up in the front-row alongside Alex Corbisiero and Paulica Ion. Nick Kennedy and Matt Garvey will form the second-row partnership with All Black, Bryn Evans, moving to the back-row.

"If you want to progress out of the group stages in this competition you have to win your home games, starting tomorrow. As I have said previously, all four teams in the group look to play an exciting brand of rugby so it should make for an entertaining spectacle," he said.

The teams:

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Steven Shingler, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Dan Bowden (capt), 9 Ross Samson, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Bryn Evans, 5 Matt Garvey, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 James Buckland, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Faan Rautenbach, 19 James Sandford, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Joe Ansbro, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Paul Hodgson.

Edinburgh: 15 Jim Thompson, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick de Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Stuart McInally, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 David Denton, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Esteban Lozada, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford (c), 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Steven Lawrie, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Sean Cox, 20 Roddy Grant, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 James King, 23 Tom Brown.

Date: Saturday, November 12
Kick-off: 13:30
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Referee: Romain Poite (France)