Solomons fears for depleted Edinburgh

Alan Solomons

Alan Solomons

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Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons admits his side will be up against it as they take on Scarlets at Murrayfield tomorrow without their Scotland internationals.

The Gunners have waved goodbye to front-rowers Al Dickinson, Ross Ford, WP Nel, Rory Sutherland and Stuart McInally as well as flanker John Hardie and scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne after they were all named in Vern Cotter’s squad to face Italy in Rome today.

And with seven others out injured, Solomons confessed his side will have to be at their best to beat the Welshmen in tomorrow’s Guinness Pro12 clash.

The South African has made two changes to the team who lost to Ospreys last weekend, recalling wing Damien Hoyland and teenage full-back Blair Kinghorn.

Solomons said: “With international call-ups and injury this will yet again be a test of the strength in depth of our squad. Our players are looking forward to meeting the challenge this presents.”

Kinghorn, who is 19, will be making his third start for the club at full-back. Joining Hoyland and Kinghorn in the back three is Tom Brown, who starts on the left wing.

In an otherwise unchanged backline, Sam Beard and Michael Allen continue at centre, while Sean Kennedy and Phil Burleigh remain as the half-back duo.

Last week’s try-scorer, Allan Dell, packs down at loosehead prop, with John Andress taking up the tighthead berth, and Neil Cochrane captaining the team from hooker.

Ben Toolis is released from the national team to don the No.5 shirt, and continues his well-established partnership with Anton Bresler in the second row.

Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson start in the back-row, either side of Cornell Du Preez, who completes the pack at No.8.

Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn; Damien Hoyland, Michael Allen, Sam Beard, Tom Brown; Phil Burleigh, Sean Kennedy; Allan Dell, Neil Cochrane (cap), John Andress, Anton Bresler, Ben Toolis, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Cornell Du Preez.