Planet Rugby

Preview: Edinburgh v Cardiff Blues

14th February 2013 12:21

Share:

David Denton

Game time: David Denton

Edinburgh welcome the return of three Scotland internationalists for Friday's clash with Cardiff Blues.

Back-row David Denton and prop Geoff Cross, on the field replacements in Scotland's 34-10 win over Italy, return from the international camp to start the match, while centre Nick De Luca has recovered from the fractured eye socket that has kept him sidelined for the past three months.

Edinburgh have already enjoyed an away reverse against their capital counterparts, courtesy of a last minute drop-goal from captain Greig Laidlaw, making tomorrow's match the first chance for a home and away double this season.

"Our position in the league [ninth] puts a finer point on the need for us to perform well and win this match at home," said Edinburgh boss Michael Bradley.

"We have some key players back with us from injury and from the Scotland camp, which will undoubtedly help our efforts to relive the success we enjoyed over Cardiff at the beginning of the season.

"They [Cardiff] are currently six points and two places above us in the RaboDirect PRO12, so it's plain to see the value of a home win as we look to climb the table in the end-of-season run in."

Despite the returning trio, the club are without four notable absentees, with Matt Scott, Ross Ford and round two try-scorer and match winners, Tim Visser and Laidlaw, who remain in the international camp.

Meanwhile, Cardiff Blues make one change in the backs with Richard Smith coming in at centre for Dafydd Hewitt, who suffered a broken checkbone in last Friday's match against Leinster.

The back-row sees Robin Copeland start at number eight and joined by Thomas Young at openside and Josh Navidi, who returns from the Wales squad, at blindside.

Michael Paterson moves to the second-row and packs down with James Down. Fau Filise moves to the loose head, with Marc Breeze starting at hooker and Scott Andrews, who also returns from the Wales squad, also starting in the front-row.

"The Six Nations is obviously a big part of the rugby season so you know that you will have these periods when you will be without your international players," said boss Phil Davies.

"You know they are coming so you have to plan for them.

"We've made a lot of progress as a squad and this is an opportunity for us up in Scotland. There is a group of men who want to win for the region.

"Last weekend we played some good rugby but lost ourselves for 15 minutes, which was disappointing, and cost us. We're not gaining consistency in performances and therefore not getting consistent results.

"We've been developing our game this week and putting things in place we'd like to see on Friday night. If we perform well we can get the win.

"We have three league matches in February where we want to get wins and climb the league then a break where we can work on conditioning and so on."

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Dougie Fife, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Lee Jones, 10 Gregor Hunter, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Stuart McInally, 6 David Denton, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Steven Lawrie (c), 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Andy Titterrell, 17 Allan Jacobsen, 18 Willem Nel, 19 Sean Cox, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Harry Leonard, 23 Tom Brown

Cardiff Blues: 15 Jason Tovey, 14 Owen Williams, 13 Richard Smith, 12 Gavin Evans (c), 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Rhys Patchell, 9 Lewis Jones, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 James Down, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Scott Andrews, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 Taufa'ao Filise.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Benoit Bourrust, 19 Lou Reed, 20 Andries Pretorius, 21 Alex Walker, 22 Gareth Davies, 23 Chris Czekaj.

Date: Friday, 15 February
Venue: Murrayfield
Kick-off: 19:30 GMT
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: David Changleng (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)
TMO: Jim Yuille (Scotland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Castres vs BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Preview
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
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
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
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
Friday , September 5
Tasman vs Waikato18:05
Northland vs Hawkes Bay20:05
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
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
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions 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
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00