Belfast Telegraph

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Bradley ready for Sarries test

Head coach Michael Bradley has urged Edinburgh fans to turn up in their numbers for their opening Heineken Cup fixture against Saracens at Murrayfield on Saturday.

The capital club were unbeaten at home in the competition last season, winning a clean sweep of pool games before knocking out four-time former champions Toulouse in their quarter-final to become the first Scottish side to reach the last four.

"The Heineken Cup is the best club rugby competition on the planet and it's the one that every player and club wants to be part of," Bradley said. "It's a very special competition and we're all very excited to get started. The support we received in last season's competition was exceptional and undoubtedly played a massive part in the successes we enjoyed here at Murrayfield."

He added: "The pressure, the pace, and the physicality, combined with the heightened tension and suspense are what makes this such a special tournament."

Bradley has made six changes to the starting line-up, with Tom Brown and Richie Rees returning to start at full-back and scrum-half in place of the injured Greig Tonks (hand) and Chris Leck, who moves to the bench.

Between Brown and Rees starts a familiar Scottish back division of captain Greig Laidlaw (stand-off), centres Matt Scott and Nick De Luca, and wide men Lee Jones and Tim Visser, who contributed seven of the club's 19-try haul last year.

Up front, Bradley has handed the starting berths to props John Yapp and Willem Nel, who pack down either side of Scotland captain Ross Ford.

Grant Gilchrist and Sean Cox start in the second row, with the forwards completed by flankers Ross Rennie and David Denton, and Stuart McInally is at number eight.


From Belfast Telegraph