Rugby: Edinburgh ready for Saints friendly

Wicus Blaauw in action for Stormers.  Picture: Lefty Shivambu (Getty Images)
Wicus Blaauw in action for Stormers. Picture: Lefty Shivambu (Getty Images)
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Recently-APPOINTED Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons has begun to make his presence felt by bolstering his front-row options and then warning his players that he expects a performance in tonight’s friendly against Northampton Saints at Franklins Gardens. Solomons’ first signing since taking the helm is prop Wicus Blaauw, who will arrive next month on a two-year deal, subject to a medical.

The 27-year-old played with Western Province and the Stormers before spending last season with French Top 14 outfit Biarritz. Earlier in his career, he represented Namibia at two Under 20 World Cups.

Welshman John Yapp has joined London Irish on a season-long loan. Meanwhile, after putting his new charges through a week-long training camp at Loughborough University, Solomons views tonight’s match as a chance to weigh up the strengths of the side he took charge of two weeks ago.

He said: “The players have worked and trained very hard in pre-season over the summer but I haven’t seen them play or be put under pressure in a game. That is when we’ll really start to learn something about this team and these players. This game is about getting that point of reference.”

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens tonight (7.30): G Tonks, D Fife, N De Luca, M Scott, L Jones, P Francis, G Laidlaw, A Dickinson, R Ford, WP Nel, G Gilchrist, I van der Westhuizen, S Cox, R Grant, D Denton. Subs: A Lutui L Niven, G Cross, O Atkins, H Watson, S Kennedy, S Hidalgo-Clyne, J Cuthbert, D Basilaia, T Brown