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Edinburgh chase European prize

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons has urged his men to grasp their opportunity to join Europe's big guns next season.

The Murrayfield side are jostling for a top-six Guinness Pro12 finish and a place in next year's European Champions Cup.

The Gunners - this year's beaten European Challenge Cup finalists - currently sit eighth in the table and will require a bonus-point win over Leinster at home on Saturday to keep their hopes alive.

But the matter does not rest in their hands and Solomons also needs Connacht to fall at home to table-topping Ospreys and second-bottom Benetton Treviso to spring a surprise on Scarlets in Italy.

Solomons, who was this week handed a new one-year deal, said: "We all know what is at stake and that we have to be at our best to challenge for a spot at Europe's top table next season."

The South African has made four changes to the team who started last weekend against Newport Gwent Dragons.

Tom Heathcote moves up from the bench at stand-off, to replace the injured Phil Burleigh, while the remainder of the changes are in the pack.

John Andress starts at tighthead in place of WP Nel and Anton Bresler comes in at lock for Fraser McKenzie, who moves to the blindside in place of Stuart McInally, with both last week's incumbents carrying injuries from the encounter in Wales.

Jack Cuthbert retains his place at fullback with Dougie Fife and Tim Visser - playing his last league match in the black and red - on the wing. The centre pairing of Sam Beard and Andries Strauss is retained, while Sam Hidalgo-Clyne remains at scrum-half to partner Heathcote in the half backs.

In the pack, Alasdair Dickinson and Ross Ford - who will captain the side - stay at loosehead and hooker while Ben Toolis at lock, Hamish Watson at openside and Cornell Du Preez at number eight all retain their places.


From Belfast Telegraph