Planet Rugby

Preview: Edinburgh v Racing Métro

13th December 2012 09:05

Share:

edinburgh ben cairns try 2011

In the side: Ben Cairns

Edinburgh welcome the return of four capped internationalists for Friday's Heineken Cup Pool One fixture against Racing Métro at Murrayfield.

Ben Cairns (Scotland), Ben Atiga (New Zealand) and Netani Talei (Fiji) will all start the match, while Dimitri Basilaia (Georgia) is on the bench.

The match will be the first outing since October for the overseas trio while Cairns has been absent since a pre-season match against Sale in 2011.

He launched his long-awaited comeback for Melrose last weekend and will add to his 110 appearances for Edinburgh as one as eight changes to the side.

With Racing the last match before the crucial back-to-back 1872 Cup derby matches with city rivals, Glasgow Warriors, head coach Michael Bradley welcomed the selection headache.

"We're delighted to welcome the timely return of these four players from injury, all of whom have the potential to make a significant contribution to our Heineken Cup and RaboDirect PRO12 campaigns at a crucial period in the season," he said.

"It's important that they get up to speed as quickly as possible and put pressure on their peers for a place in the playing squad in some massive games coming up in the next two months.

"The two Bens [Cairns and Atiga] in the centre offer a new and exciting partnership, while their availability means we now have a number of midfield combinations available going forward.

"The return of these players adds a significant level of competition for places and, in the case of Dimitri [Basilaia] and Netani [Talei], an up-weighted physicality, which is welcome against such a combative side as Racing Metro.

"All of these players are straining at the leash, are desperate to get a win for Edinburgh Rugby and to put in a performance worthy of reselection."

Full-back Greig Tonks is the only reselected back as Lee Jones and Dougie Fife come in for the injured Tom Brown (knee) and Tim Visser, on the wings.

Piers Francis has been handed his first start at fly-half after a competent debut off the bench in Paris last weekend and will partner in-bound scrum-half Chris Leck.

The final change comes in the pack as Robert McAlpine replaces Sean Cox to join forces with his former Scotland age-grade colleague, Grant Gilchrist, in the second-row.

Meanwhile, Racing have opted to leave Argentina playmaker Juan Martin Hernandez on the bench for a game that, should they win, would see them move temporarily top of the Pool.

Former England international back Olly Barkley remains at fly-half for the Paris side while Bernard Le Roux comes into the side at flank for absent number eight Masi Matadigo.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Dougie Fife, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Chris Leck, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Grant Gilchrist, 4 Robert McAlpine, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Ross Ford, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Allan Jacobsen, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Perry Parker, 20 Dimitri Basilaia, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Gregor Hunter, 23 Sep Visser.

Racing Métro: 15 Gaetan Germain, 14 Sereli Bobo, 13 Guillaume Bousses, 12 Alexandre Dumoulin, 11 Juan Imhoff, 10 Olly Barkley, 9 Sebastien Descons, 8 Jacques Cronje, 7 Bernard Le Roux, 6 Antoine Batut, 5 Francois van der Merwe, 4 Karim Ghezal, 3 Luc Ducalcon, 2 Dimitri Szarzewski, 1 Eddy Ben Arous.
Replacements: 16 Thomas Bianchin, 17 Julien Brugnaut, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Jone Qovu Nailiko, 20 Mathieu Belie, 21 Juan Martin Hernandez, 22 Fabrice Estebanez, 23 Alvaro Galindo.

Date: Friday, December 14
Venue: Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 20.00 GMT
Referee: Dudley Phillips

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Preview
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Preview
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Preview
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Preview
Wednesday, September 3
Manawatu vs Bay Of Plenty19:35
Thursday , September 4
Otago vs Canterbury19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00