New Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill has called on his players to show they are ready for the new Guinness Pro14 campaign by turning in an improved performance in tonight’s pre-season friendly against Newcastle Falcons at the Greenyards (kick-off 6pm).
The Capital side lost narrowly 24-20 to Sale Sharks last Friday at Meggetland and this evening’s match at Melrose is their final game before they kick-off the competitive season at Cardiff Blues a week tonight.
Cockerill has made five changes to his starting line-up to face Falcons, with two of the amendments coming in the back-three, where Blair Kinghorn and Dougie Fife start at full-back and wing respectively.
Junior Rasolea comes in at centre, with Nathan Fowles at scrum-half. Magnus Bradbury starts at No.8, in the only change to the starting forwards pack.
Cockerill said: “We learned a lot about ourselves in last week’s hit-out against Sale, and it was a good chance to get a feel for where we are as a group at the start of the season.
“As a group, we played with real intention and a lot of passion, and I was encouraged by the performances of some of our younger Academy players.
“We need to keep building, and this is a big chance to show that we’ve improved from last week. We need to keep developing as individuals and as a team, and showing people that we’re working hard to get better every day.
“Newcastle will prove to be a further test of this team, but we need to see players front-up and show that they’re ready to compete both mentally and physically.
“We need to go into our first league game in the best position possible, and a lot of that boils down to how we perform tonight.”
Edinburgh: 15. Blair Kinghorn, 14. Darcy Graham, 13. Chris Dean, 12. Junior Rasolea, 11. Dougie Fife, 10. Duncan Weir, 9. Nathan Fowles, 1. Darryl Marfo, 2. Stuart McInally, 3. Simon Berghan, 4. Anton Bresler, 5. Grant Gilchrist, 6. Jamie Ritchie, 7. John Hardie, 8. Magnus Bradbury. Subs: Neil Cochrane, Cammy Fenton, Ryan Grant, Ross Dunbar, Murray McCallum, Kevin Bryce, Fraser McKenzie, Callum Hunter-Hill, Cornell du Preez, Luke Crosbie, Ally Miller, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Jason Tovey, Jason Baggot, Tom Brown, Jason Harries, Glenn Bryce, James Johnstone, Jamie Farndale.