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Edinburgh caretaker Duncan Hodge calls for focus

Acting Edinburgh coach Duncan Hodge has urged his team to put the shock of Alan Solomons' Murrayfield exit to one side as they face up to Guinness PRO12 champions Connacht.

South African Solomons stepped down on Wednesday after seeing his side lose three of their opening four fixtures.

Hodge has been placed in temporary command but knows his side cannot afford to wallow in self-pity ahead of facing Pat Lam's side on Friday.

He said : "It's been a challenging week for all involved but we've got a massive game we need to win on Friday night. In the short term our focus has got to be on tomorrow's match.

"We've got some fresh faces coming in from last week who will lift the team and give us a fresh energy for the game."

Hodge has recalled four Scotland internationalists for his first match in charge - f orwards Ross Ford, WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist and John Hardie all come in.

Scrum-half Sean Kennedy will make his first start of the season and is partnered by stand-off Jason Tovey, who takes over from Duncan Weir after the Scotland international suffered a broken jaw last weekend.

Connacht have hardly had the start they were wishing for, starting the defence of their crown with three straight defeats, but Hodge admits his side will travel to Galway as underdogs.

He added: "Connacht have talismanic players among them and they're always a tough team to play, especially at home.

"They'll be physical, but we know what to expect. We have prepared well this week and can't wait to embrace the challenge, start to change our performances and get results for the club."


From Belfast Telegraph