Coach Michael Bradley has named Stuart McInally as the pick of the Edinburgh Rugby crop this season.
The back rower lines up against Leinster at Murrayfield tonight, having ended 2012 by getting on to the international bench for the first time, albeit as an unused sub against South Africa, while he also toured the South Seas and Australia during the summer without getting a Test call. Bradley said: “Stuart, I think, has been our best performing player this year.”
One of Edinburgh’s busiest performers in starting 14 of the 16 games before being rested for the return leg of the Glasgow fixture last time, it is a moot point whether McInally’s performances are connected to consistency of selection and Bradley appears convinced a back row shuffle which rests Roddy Grant and gives Georgian cap Dimitri Basilaia a chance to prove his worth can upset the Dubliners.
“We have switched David Denton to No 8 to give him a crack at maybe first up balls. Then Stuart, being the footballer he is, will pick up whatever opportunities may arise in his area during the match,” added Bradley.