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Edinburgh to fight on without duo

Ross Ford and Allan Jacobsen are to be rested from Edinburgh's final four Magners League fixtures.

The move is to ensure the pair, who were mainstays of the Scotland pack in the RBS 6 Nations, approach their season 2011/12 commitments with both club and country in the best possible shape.

Interim head coach Nick Scrivener said: "Any coach will always want to field his strongest possible team - that's natural and I'm no different. Player welfare has always been a top priority for Edinburgh, and we recognise and understand the need to balance our players' commitments in what is a very busy rugby year."

Dr James Robson, Scottish Rugby's head of medical services, said: "Allan has niggling injuries in his shoulder and back which would respond best to a short period of rest.

"Ross Ford is fatigued and through circumstances beyond Edinburgh's direct control they were unable to rest him earlier this season. It is best for Ross that he has that break now. Everyone involved in this process acknowledges and appreciates the importance of Edinburgh finishing the season in the strongest possible fashion.

"But we're also mindful that next year is a hugely significant one for both club and country and as such our priority has to be the long-term interests of these players."

Edinburgh will now seek to build on last Saturday's 23-16 win over Ospreys when they face Connacht in their penultimate away Magners League match of the season. Fourteen members of the starting line-up that saw off Ospreys have secured selection again this week.

The one change from the Ospreys game sees Geoff Cross return at tight-head prop in place of David Young, while Mike Blair continues his half-back pairing with Greig Laidlaw.

Scrivener added: "We performed really well as a team against Ospreys last weekend, and it's going to take exactly the same levels of intensity and precision to get the result we want in Connacht.

"The Ospreys game should be the template for our last four matches. It's about us going out and showing a hunger and absolute determination to win, so that we finish what has been an up-and-down season in really positive fashion."

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