Solomons admits Edinburgh could be rusty

Edinburgh Rugby coach Alan Solomons
Edinburgh Rugby coach Alan Solomons
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Edinburgh Rugby boss Alan Solomons admits his side’s recent inactivity will have an effect when they take on Connacht later today.

The Capital club’s clash with Newport-Gwent Dragons was called off as heavy rain lashed down on south-east Wales, meaning they have now gone four weeks without a game.

Solomons said: “Missing the game against the Dragons in Newport was big because we have now not played for a month, which will have an impact. We will naturally be a bit rusty.

“The positive side is that we have had more time to practice because there are, during the Six Nations, quite substantial changes to the team.

“However, all things being considered, the players have prepared well and are ready for this game.”

The South African has selected the same starting side that would have faced the Dragons for the Connacht clash at the Sportsground.

The Murrayfield side were due to give new signing Andries Strauss his debut last week but Solomons will now field the centre for the first time alongside midfield partner Nick De Luca.

The only changes to the squad named last week appear on the bench, where Scotland front-row forwards Ross Ford and Geoff Cross return from international duty during a fallow week in the Six Nations to replace young duo Geoge Turner and Ewan McQuillin.

The last eight fixtures between the two sides have been evenly split with four wins apiece.

Edinburgh won on their last visit to Galway by the narrowest of margins (24-23) but were in much better form in November, when they ran out 43-10 winners at Murrayfield.

Despite their success on home soil, Solomons was under no illusions of the enormity of the task involved in travelling to face the Irishmen.

Solomons added: “You always have a tough game against Connacht, especially in Galway. Most of the sides that go there know they are in for a battle.

“They are a very gritty team and are particularly difficult in Galway where conditions are often difficult, especially at this time of year on what is a fairly exposed field.”

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Connacht at the Sportsground today (kick-off 5pm): Jack Cuthbert, Dougie Fife, Nick De Luca, Andries Strauss, Tom Brown, Carl Bezuidenhout, Grayson Hart, Wicus Blaauw, James Hilterbrand, Willem Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Izak van der Westhuizen, Mike Coman (c), Roddy Grant, Cornell Du Preez. Substitutes: Ross Ford, Alex Allan, Geoff Cross, Ollie Atkinsm, Tomas Leonardi, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Sam Beard, Harry Leonard.