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Preview: Munster v Edinburgh

05th September 2013 16:25

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Sean Cox Edinburgh

Captain: Sean Cox

Edinburgh second-row Sean Cox will captain his side in their RaboDirect PRO12 opener against Munster at Musgrave Park in Cork on Saturday.

He will lead in the absence of Greig Laidlaw (knee), who was on Thursday named the club captain for a third straight year, equalling Todd Blackadder's record for the modern era.

Cox is one of eight forwards selected to start the third match in a row; their reward for two physical outings in pre-season - most recently being Friday's 15-5 win over Newcastle Falcons.

In the backs Sean Kennedy replaces Laidlaw as one of three personnel changes to the division: Ben Atiga starts at inside centre and Scotland international Lee Jones returns to the wing, having recovered from the calf strain that ruled him out of the win against the Falcons.

Their introduction allows Nick De Luca and Dougie Fife to move back to their familiar positions of outside-centre and wing, while promising prospect Sam Hidalgo-Clyne looks to make his competitive debut from the bench, after spending a summer in New Zealand.

Munster meanwhile have handed James Cronin his first competitive start this Saturday.

Cronin who was promoted from the academy to a development contract this summer has two caps to his name after coming on against Leinster and Zebre in the latter stages of season 2012/13, and he joins Mike Sherry and Stephen Archer in the front row.

James Coughlan captains the squad which includes returning internationals, prop Dave Kilcoyne and flanker Tommy O'Donnell, both named among the replacements.

The teams:

Munster: 15 Denis Hurley, 14 Ronan O'Mahony, 13 Casey Laulala, 12 Ivan Dineen, 11 Johne Murphy, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Duncan Williams, 8 James Coughlan (capt), 7 Sean Dougall, 6 Dave O'Callaghan, 5 Donncha O'Callaghan, 4 Dave Foley, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Damien Varley, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 John Ryan, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Tommy O'Donnell, 21 Cathal Sheridan, 22 JJ Hanrahan, 23 Cian Bohane.

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 David Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Sean Cox (capt), 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 WP Nel, 2 Ross Ford, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Geoff Cross, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Harry Leonard, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Date: Saturday, September 7
Kick-off: 19:15 BST
Venue: Musgrave Park
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Sean Gallagher (Ireland), Paul Haycock (Ireland)
Television match official: Jude Quinn (Ireland)
Assessor: Bertie Smith (Ireland)
Citing Commissioner: Eugene Ryan (Ireland)

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PosTeamPPts
6Leinster616
7Scarlets614
8Edinburgh611
9Dragons67
10Cardiff Blues67