Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Edinburgh take tips from Munster

Centre Matt Scott will return to the Edinburgh line-up for Saturday's match with Munster

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons claims Munster are the blueprint he wants his side to follow - but admits it will take time before they can match the two-time European champions.

The Murrayfield side take on Rob Penney's men in the capital on Saturday as they kick off their Heineken Cup campaign.

A crowd of around 5,500 are expected for the clash - 2,000 more than have turned out for Edinburgh's two RaboDirect Pro12 home matches so far this season.

It is before that crowd that Edinburgh will face a side whose record-equalling history in reaching the tournament's knock-out rounds 14 times from 18 attempts is matched only by French giants Toulouse.

But Solomons has warned the club's supporters that his men are far from the finished article.

He said: "It's Heineken Cup week and it's a massive game. But we have to keep focused on our process of building this club, which has only just begun, and will continue against one of the premier sides in Europe tomorrow afternoon.

"They have won the competition twice, reached the play-offs innumerable times and are coming here at full strength.

"They are a very good side and what's important is that they are a very settled side. That is what we're aiming for and that is what takes time."

Solomons has named four changes to his line-up, spread equally between the forwards and backs.

Centre Matt Scott will make his first competitive start of the season, having recovered from the ankle injury he sustained in the summer to come off the bench in last weekend's away loss to Cardiff.

He will begin the match alongside fellow Scotland cap Nick De Luca, who missed last week's chance to reinstate their midfield partnership with a shoulder injury.

Up front Grant Gilchrist comes into the second-row in place of the injured Izak van der Westhuizen (shoulder), and newly-signed South African Cornell Du Preez makes his first start in the back-row in place of Tomas Leonardi.

Solomons added: "It was invaluable for Matt to get game time last weekend, especially as Ben Atiga has just been ruled out for a month.

"Matt hasn't started a match since Scotland's summer tour and still needs to play more matches to get fully up to speed after his injury.

"However, he and Nick De Luca have played together for a long time so should fit back together well.

"We're probably in the best place we've been from a personnel perspective, so it's incumbent on those taking to the field to carry on our efforts to see continuous improvements from every game."

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre