Edinburgh Rugby: Fraser McKenzie expects battle with Alun Wyn Jones

Edinburgh's Fraser McKenzie is relishing facing Ospreys Alun Wyn Jones. Pic: SNS
Edinburgh's Fraser McKenzie is relishing facing Ospreys Alun Wyn Jones. Pic: SNS
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Edinburgh Rugby’s Fraser McKenzie expects his card to be well marked about a possible direct rival before Sunday’s Guinness Pro 12 clash with Ospreys at Swansea.

McKenzie, who returned this summer after spells with Sale and Newcastle, is expected to go head-to-head with new Ospreys second row Rynier Bernardo, and he said: “I should know a bit about him because Bernardo was at Southern Kings in South Africa when our coach, Alan Solomons, was there.

“But it is really about us and focusing on what we want to do.”

McKenzie said this applied equally to Alun Wyn Jones if the Lions captain is selected for Ospreys, having had to break a rest period last week due to injuries in the squad.

“Of course I want Alun Wyn to play. You always want to play against the best in the world.

“You play against great players week in, week out in the Guinness Pro 12, though, and it is always about our own performance.”

McKenzie forms a new partnership with Anton Bresler after the Namibian replaced him for the final 20 minutes of the defeat by Connacht last weekend. “All the second rows at Edinburgh are extremely tight (close) allowing for the fact that there is competition for places, of course,” he added.

“You can’t put too much pressure on a new guy but Anton is settling in and will do well.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh have reviewed last week’s game in which they were heavily penalised at the scrum by rookie ref Gary Conway, and feedback has gone to the Pro 12 authorities.

They are also likely to appeal the yellow card given to prop WP Nel should he receive a third sin-binning this season which carries suspension.

“We had the dominant scrum but were not rewarded. That is unusual,” said Solomons, adding: “We have dealt with it in terms of the protocol.”

Edinburgh have made seven changes from the team beaten by Connacht, with a recall for Tim Visser who faces late checks.

Edinburgh: Cuthbert, McLennan, Burleigh, Strauss, Visser, Heathcote, Hidalgo-Clyne, Dickinson, Hilterbrand, Nel, McKenzie, Bresler, Coman (captain), Du Preez, Watson. Subs: Cochrane, Sutherland, Andress, Atkins, Leonardi, Hart, Beard, Tonks.