International stars return for Edinburgh’s Euro crunch

Hooker Ross Ford has shaken off a rib problem

Hooker Ross Ford has shaken off a rib problem

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Edinburgh have named a strong team packed with their international stars for tonight’s vital European Challenge Cup Pool 5 clash with Grenoble in France (kick-off 7.30pm).

Scotland hooker Ross Ford is back from his rib problem and loosehead Alasdair Dickinson returns from his calf injury to reunite the Test front row alongside WP Nel. The first choice back row of skipper Mike Coman, John Hardie and Cornell du Preez is also reinstated as Alan Solomons makes 12 changes from the youthful side that secured a bonus-point win at home to Agen last week.

In the backs, scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne is reunited with first choice stand-off Phil Burleigh, who has recovered from a neck injury and Scotland centre Matt Scott is back alongside Mike Allen, with Greig Tonks at full-back and Damien Hoyland and Will Helu on the wings.

Tonight’s match is a winner-takes-all contest between the two teams on 17 and 18 points respectively with Edinburgh currently sitting in seventh in the mix for the eight quarter-
final spots. Harlequins, Gloucester and Dragons have already qualified with four points between the other five teams and all to play for.

Solomons said: “We need to win this game to progress. We know it’s going to be tough, they’re a good side and they’re at home.

“Clearly we need to perform well on the day to get a result.”

Edinburgh: Greig Tonks, Damien Hoyland, Michael Allen, Matt Scott, William Helu, Phil Burleigh, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Alasdair Dickinson, Ross Ford, WP Nel, Anton Bresler, Ben Toolis, Mike Coman (c), John Hardie, Cornell Du Preez. Subs: Neil Cochrane, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Alex Toolis, Hamish Watson, Nathan Fowles, Andries Strauss, Dougie Fife.