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Solomons ready for Munster test

Alan Solomons admits his Edinburgh side face a huge task if they are to topple Heineken Cup rivals Munster on their own patch on Sunday.

The Murrayfield men's quarter-final hopes are all but over, but they have not given up hope of clinching a slot in the Amlin Challenge Cup's knock-out rounds.

Solomons knows a win against the Irish giants will greatly boost their hopes, but is well aware the challenge waiting for them at Thomond Park will be anything but easy.

The South African coach said: "Munster are one of the top teams in Europe and have been for some time.

"They have a tremendous tradition and heritage; they are notoriously difficult in Limerick and are fighting to secure a home quarter-final. The challenges don't get much bigger than that.

"In round one we showed that we had advanced enough as a team to win against a top side but, rest assured, Munster will be keen to set the record straight, I have no doubt about that.

"The important thing for us is that, since then, we have continued to improve as a team and are looking forward to this challenge."

The six pool winners and top two runners-up will be rewarded with a Heineken Cup quarter-final, while three of the four next-best runners-up will join the last eight of the Challenge Cup.

Edinburgh Rugby currently occupy the last remaining qualification spot for the second tier European Cup competition and will need to match the efforts of other pool runners-up to extend their stay in Europe.

With that in mind, Solomons has stuck with a winning formula after selecting the same 23-man squad that defeated French Top 14 side Perpignan at Murrayfield last Saturday.

It means 23-year-old wing Tom Brown, who scored the opening try against Perpignan on Saturday, will lead the team out on his 50th appearance for the club.

Meanwhile, Edinburgh forwards Ross Rennie and Stuart McInally have joined up with former Scotland head coach Andy Robinson at Bristol after agreeing to move south on loan until the end of the season.


From Belfast Telegraph