Planet Rugby

Preview: Edinburgh v Dragons

12th September 2013 13:22

Share:

Alan Solomons

Making changes: Alan Solomons

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons has made wholesale changes in the backs for his team's first home match of the season against the Dragons.

Nikki Walker makes his debut for the Scottish side and Tim Visser will patrol the opposite wing in a double change at the back.

"I think this is a really good opportunity for Tim [Visser] and Nikki [Walker] to get involved. They're back to full fitness, which is a big positive for us, and it's great to have them in the team," Solomons told Edinburgh's official website.

In the other changes to the back division, fly-half Harry Leonard is handed his first start in place of the injured Piers Francis (ankle) while an injury to Ben Atiga (knee) gives Nick De Luca and Dougie Fife the opportunity to start in the inside and outside centre positions.

The only change to the pack see's Dimitri Basilaia start on the side of the scrum in place of Sean Cox, while South African prop Wicus Blaauw could make his first appearance for the club off the bench.

"It would be fantastic to get the home section of our campaign underway with a win but in order to achieve that we need a good performance," said Solomons.

"If we get a good performance then everything will flow from it. It's all about the way we play.

"We know what we want to do, we need to execute our strategy well and we need to play well, if we do that we'll get the result we deserve."

Meanwhile, the Welsh side are in a confident mood ahead of their trip to Murrayfield.

"Edinburgh have a tradition of some good attacking expansive rugby and their product has developed over the last few years," Dragons director of rugby Lyn Jones told the club's website.

"They played decent rugby against Munster but at the same time I am sure that they will be disappointed about their defensive errors.

"Following Fridays performance against Ulster we are cautiously optimistic about our trip to Murrayfield.

"Our game against Ulster was optimistic and accurate; we need to build on that as we come across the challenges ahead.

"We as a new coaching team are still finding out a lot about players and see this coming month as an opportunity to find out a lot more about the players."

Form:Edinburgh Rugby began their 2013/14 RaboDirect PRO12 campaign with a 23-34 defeat to Munster in Cork. The Scotsmen have won two of their last three games at Murrayfield, but only managed to wine three of eight fixtures against Welsh opponents last season.Newport Gwent Dragons defeated last season's PRO12 finalists, Ulster, at Rodney Parade on Friday and have never before started a season with back to back wins. The Dragons have slipped to three successive away defeats and have not beaten a Scottish opponent since last September.The Men from Gwent have won six of their last eight clashes with Edinburgh and have also been victorious on three of their last six visits to Murrayfield.

The teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Dougie Fife, 12 Nick De Luca, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 David Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Dimitri Basilaia, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Ross Ford (c), 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements 16 Aleki Luitui, 17 Wicus Blaauw, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Sean Cox, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Michael Tait, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Dragons 15 Dan Evans, 14 Matthew Pewtner, 13 Pat Leach, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Richie Rees, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Matthew Screech, 4 Dan Way, 3 Adam Jones, 2 T.Rhys Thomas (c), 1 Owen Evans.
Replacements: 16 Hugh Gustafson, 17 Phil Price, 18 Francisco Chaparro, 19 Rob Sidoli, 20 Toby Faletau, 21 Jonathan Evans, 22 Kris Burton, 23 Ross Wardle.

Date: 13 September
Venue:Murrayfield, Edinburgh
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant referees: David Changleng (Scotland), Stephen Ward (Scotland)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , April 19
Exeter vs SaleExeter vs Sale Preview
Bath vs WorcesterBath vs Worcester Preview
Wasps vs GloucesterWasps vs Gloucester Preview
Sunday , April 20
Northampton vs London IrishNorthampton vs London Irish Preview
Newcastle vs SaracensNewcastle vs Saracens Preview
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
RaboDirect PRO12
Saturday , April 19
Zebre vs EdinburghZebre vs Edinburgh Preview
Connacht vs MunsterConnacht vs Munster Preview
Sunday , April 20
Cardiff Blues vs ScarletsCardiff Blues vs Scarlets Preview
Newport Gwent D'gons vs OspreysNewport Gwent D
More RaboDirect PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , April 18
Castres vs MontpellierCastres vs Montpellier Preview
Saturday , April 19
Oyonnax vs Toulouse14:55
Perpignan vs Toulon17:00
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Clermont AuvergneRacing Metro Paris vs Clermont Auvergne Preview
Biarritz vs Brive18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles20:35
More Top 14 fixtures
Super Rugby
Saturday , April 19
Chiefs vs CrusadersChiefs vs Crusaders Preview
Waratahs vs BullsWaratahs vs Bulls Preview
Sharks vs CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Preview
Stormers vs LionsStormers vs Lions Preview
More Super Rugby fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 18
Harlequins 24 - 20 LeicesterHarlequins vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Leinster 62 - 7 Benetton TrevisoLeinster vs Benetton Treviso Report
Glasgow 27 - 9 UlsterGlasgow vs Ulster Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Super Rugby
Hurricanes 39 - 20 BluesHurricanes vs Blues Report
Melbourne Rebels 22 - 16 Western Force
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , April 13
Saracens 28 - 24 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Irish 40 - 12 NewcastleLondon Irish vs Newcastle Report
Saturday , April 12
Worcester 33 - 38 ExeterWorcester vs Exeter Report
Leicester 27 - 15 WaspsLeicester vs Wasps Report
Gloucester 17 - 18 BathGloucester vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Benetton Treviso 45 - 27 Newport Gwent D'gonsBenetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D
Scarlets 27 - 20 ZebreScarlets vs Zebre Report
Munster 5 - 22 GlasgowMunster vs Glasgow Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 20 - 22 ToulonBordeaux-Begles vs Toulon Report
Toulouse 16 - 9 BriveToulouse vs Brive Report
Grenoble 30 - 36 Montpellier
Perpignan 22 - 12 Oyonnax
Racing Metro Paris 37 - 7 Biarritz
Bayonne 24 - 19 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Super Rugby
Chiefs 22 - 16 Melbourne RebelsChiefs vs Melbourne Rebels Report
Lions 12 - 25 SharksLions vs Sharks Report
Cheetahs 31 - 52 CrusadersCheetahs vs Crusaders Report
Western Force 28 - 16 WaratahsWestern Force vs Waratahs Report
More Super Rugby results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , April 11
Sale Sharks 12 - 27 HarlequinsSale Sharks vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
RaboDirect PRO12
Ulster 58 - 12 ConnachtUlster vs Connacht Report
More RaboDirect PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens1976
2Northampton1966
3Leicester Tigers2064
4Bath1959
5Harlequins2058