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Blair blow for Edinburgh

Mike Blair is absent with an elbow injury as Edinburgh seek to claim their first Heineken Cup win of the season at Castres on Saturday.

Scrum-half Blair suffered the injury in Edinburgh's 33-16 Magners League loss to the Ospreys last Saturday and is replaced by fellow Scotland international Greig Laidlaw in one of eight changes made by head coach Rob Moffat.

Prop Allan Jacobsen, hooker Ross Ford, lock Steven Turnbull, who will be making his first start of the season, flanker Scott Newlands, wing Lee Jones and centres Ben Cairns and John Houston all start as Edinburgh seek to move off the bottom of Heineken Cup Pool One at Stade Pierre Antoine.

Cairns, Newlands, Jacobsen, Ford, Geoff Cross and Chris Paterson - who has recovered from a dead leg - all started the match in Castres two years ago, which Edinburgh won 13-6, with David Blair and Houston coming off the bench.

Moffat hopes a repeat result will ignite his side's European season, having opened with losses to Northampton and Cardiff Blues.

Moffat told the Edinburgh website: "It's great to be going to a really tough place like Castres knowing with absolute certainty that we're capable of winning there.

"The performance in 2008 was really satisfying, and we can take a lot from it because all the same elements will be required this weekend.

"We'll need that same spirit, determination and nerve on Saturday to manage the same sort of result.

"We're desperate to land the win and get a bit of momentum back into our Heineken Cup campaign, especially with the incentive of a home game next weekend (also against Castres) where we could really push on."

Former Scotland wing Simon Webster, who has not featured for Edinburgh since April because of an Achilles injury, has been named on the bench.

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