Planet Rugby

Preview: Racing Metro v Edinburgh

12th January 2012 12:09

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Greig Laidlaw kicking for Edinburgh

Greig Laidlaw: Switches to ten

Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley has made six changes to his side to face Racing Metro in a Heineken Cup Pool 3 clash in Paris on Friday.

The game is a key one for both sides, with Edinburgh - who are currently level on points with Cardiff at the top of the pool - looking to prove their nail-biting wins over Racing and London Irish earlier in the competition where no flukes. Having seen the Blues and the Exiles come away from Stade Yves Du Manoir with wins they will no doubt feel buoyed about their chances.

However, flanker Ross Rennie believes this could make Racing even more dangerous.

"No French team playing at home likes losing," he told the Edinburgh Evening News.

"It's still going to be a very tough game, especially as we have also had to spend part of this week fixing things that didn't go right against Ulster in the league last Friday."

The key changes to the Edinburgh side are in the half-backs where Mike Blair comes in at nine with skipper Greig Laidlaw switching to fly-half. Phil Godman drops to the bench as a result.

Elsewhere amongst the backs, wing Lee Jones and centre Matt Scot return to the line-up, with Tom Brown named amongst the replacements and James King ruled out by a groin injury.

Amongst the forwards, Ross Rennie and David Denton come in on the flanks at the expense of Roddy Grant and Stuart McInally while in the second row Grant Gilchrist replaces Esteban Lozada who drops to the bench.

Meanwhile, Springboks centre Frans Steyn makes his first Heineken Cup appearance of the season at 13 for Racing alongside French international Fabrice Estebanez.

Pumas flyer Juan Imhoff is at full-back with compatriot Juan Martin Hernandez in the ten jersey.

The teams:

Racing Metro 15 Juan Imhoff, 14 Virimi Vakatawa, 13 Frans Steyn, 12 Fabrice Estebanez, 11 Julien Saubade, 10 Juan Martin Hernandez, 9 Sebastien Descons, 8 Sebastien Chabal, 7 Antoine Batut, 6 John Leo'o, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Lionel Nallet, 3 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 2 Gregory Arganese, 1 Andrea Lo Cicero.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Eddy Ben Arous, 18 Benjamin Sa, 19 Bernard Le Roux, 20 Mathieu Loree, 21 Jonathan Wisniewski, 22 Remi Vaquiin, 23 Henry Chavancy.

Edinburgh: 15 Chris Paterson, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Netani Talei 7 Ross Rennie 6 David Denton 5 Sean Cox 4 Grant Gilchrist 3 Geoff Cross 2 Ross Ford 1 Allan Jacobsen
Replacements:16 Alun Walker, 17 Kyle Traynor, 18 Jack Gilding, 19 Esteban Lozada, 20 Roddy Grant, 21 Phil Godman, 22 Tom Brown, 23 Jim Thompson.

Date: Friday, January 13
Kick-off: 21:00 (20:00 GMT)
Venue: Stade Yves du Manoir
Referee: Dave Pearson (England)

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