Planet Rugby

Preview: Edinburgh v Munster

11th January 2013 08:57

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Edinburgh line out Munster s James Coughlan

Aerial battle: James Coughlan

Michael Bradley has named three changes to the Edinburgh Rugby side to face Munster at Murrayfield in the Heineken Cup this Sunday.

Last season's semi-finalists have yet to secure a win from this season's pool rounds and run out at Murrayfield Stadium seeking to repay the faith of the home support and end their home showing in the competition on a high.


Standing in their way are two-time champions Munster, who arrive placed third in the group (three points behind Pool leaders Saracens and one behind Racing Metro) and in need of their first away win to propel them into knockout qualification contention.

"This is our final home match in this competition and we would like to acknowledge the support that the fans have given us over the last couple of weeks with a big performance," said Bradley.

"We would take a lot of confidence from getting a win against Munster in this match and putting pressure on them in terms of quarter-final qualification."

The Scottish side, who are struggling at ninth in the Pro12, have endured a miserable campaign and have been a shadow of the side which won so many admirers last season.

Meanwhile, there are four changes in total for Munster, from the side that started in Vicarage Road, one of those in the backs and three up front, for Sunday's must-win Heineken Cup clash with Edinburgh.

The one backline change sees Keith Earls, injured for the Sarries game, return to the starting XV in place of Casey Laulala who sits on the bench.

Up front Dave Kilcoyne and Tommy O'Donnell are others who return having missed the Vicarage Road game through illness and injury respectively, O'Donnell included at the expense of Dave O'Callaghan, and the Tipperary man will operate out of the openside berth allowing Peter O'Mahony switch to the blindside.

The other change in the pack sees Damien Varley start ahead of Mick Sherry who has recovered from an ankle injury to take his place among the replacements.

Munster will know a win will more than likely put them into second place in the Pool with one game - a home tie against Racing Metro 92 at Thomond Park - to play and a good chance of qualification.

Munster nilled Edinburgh in their meeting this season and are the only Irish province to do so in the history of this tournament.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Ben Cairns, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw, 9 Richie Rees, 8 David Denton, 7 Dimitri Basilaia, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Steven Lawrie, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Robin Hislop, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Netani Talei, 20 Roddy Grant, 21 Piers Francis, 22 Ben Atiga, 23 Sep Visser.

Munster: 15 Felix Jones, 14 Doug Howlett (c), 13 Keith Earls, 12 James Downey, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Ronan O'Gara, 9 Conor Murray, 8 James Coughlan, 7 Tommy O'Donnell, 6 Peter O'Mahony, 5 Donnacha Ryan, 4 Donncha O'Callaghan, 3 BJ Botha, 2 Damian Varley, 1 David Kilcoyne.
Replacements: 16 Mike Sherry, 17 Wian Du Preez, 18 Stephen Archer, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Paddy Butler, 21 Duncan Williams, 22 Ian Keatley, 23 Casey Laulala.

Date: Sunday, January 13
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 12:45 GMT
Referee: Romain Poite (France)

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