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Alan Solomons gives Edinburgh youngsters chance to impress against London Irish

Published 11/12/2015

Alan Solomons, pictured, is giving youngsters Jamie Ritchie and Michael Allen their first starts for the club against London Irish
Alan Solomons, pictured, is giving youngsters Jamie Ritchie and Michael Allen their first starts for the club against London Irish

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons wants to see his young guns shine after naming an experimental line-up for Saturday's European Challenge Cup clash with London Irish.

Only Dougie Fife, Anton Bresler, Alex Toolis and Cornell Du Preez retain their places after last weekend's 14-7 loss to Ulster in the Guinness Pro12.

Among those coming in to start for the Gunners at the Madejski Stadium are teenage flanker Jamie Ritchie and outside centre Michael Allen, both of whom make their first starts for the club.

Solomons said: "With some of last weekend's team being rested, an opportunity is being given to a number of players.

"I'm delighted that Jamie will be making his first start for the club. It's good to see that a number of his age-grade peers, including Magnus Bradbury and Damien Hoyland, could also take the field this week.

"With Blair Kinghorn and Chris Dean also in the 23, it underlines the quality young players we have coming through the squad."

Edinburgh may have beaten London Irish in the quarter-finals of last season's European Challenge Cup but Solomons is under no illusions that their opponents will be looking to redress the balance.

"London Irish have had a difficult season in the Premiership and will be looking at this game to build confidence," the South African said.

"Accordingly, I believe that they will put out a full-strength team and as such we will be subjected to a real test of the strength in depth in our squad.

"(Saturday) presents a huge challenge for all the players involved."

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