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- Guinness PRO12
- 1st Dec 2012
- KO 17:00
- Ground: Galway Sportsground
- Att: 3,800
Connacht v Edinburgh: RaboDirect PRO12 match preview
Edinburgh welcome back five of their returning Scotland players for Saturday's clash with Connacht at the Sportsground.
Having claimed a 23-13 victory against RaboDirect PRO12 champions Ospreys last week, Edinburgh's head coach Michael Bradley has named a solid line-up as he looks to maintain momentum.
Captain Greg Laidlaw returns to the fold at stand-off at a ground where Edinburgh have failed to register a victory since 2008.
The club and country partnership of Nick De Luca and Matt Scott continues in midfield, with Tim Visser stepping back on to the wing. David Denton is named on the blindside of the scrum.
The return of Denton sees Sean Cox return to his favoured position at lock to partner Perry Parker, after he made a positive impression in his first start against Ospreys.
The injured Ross Ford (shoulder) is replaced by hooker Andy Titterrell with Allan Jacobsen offered the chance to impress from the start at loosehead.
Bradley keeps the rest of the back-line unchanged with Greig Tonks (full-back), Richie Rees (scrum-half) and Tom Brown (wing) all earning reselection.
After their 14-3 defeat to The Dragons last weekend, Connacht head coach Eric Elwood has named three changes up front.
Starting at loosehead prop and earning his 150th cap for the province on Saturday will be Brett Wilkinson, with Ronan Loughney replacing Nathan White in the front row.
Making way for Johnny O'Connor, Andrew Browne moves from flanker to lock, partnering Mick Kearney in the second row.
Prop JP Cooney is named among the front row replacements with Danny Qualter also named on the bench. The 20-year-old, Academy prospect could earn his first competitive start at the Sportsground this weekend.
Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Tom Brown, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Greig Laidlaw (capt), 9 Richie Rees, 8 Stuart McInally, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 David Denton, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Perry Parker, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Andy Titterrell, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Alun Walker, 17 John Yapp, 18 Lewis Niven, 19 Robert McAlpine, 20 Izak van der Westhuizen, 21 Chris Leck, 22 Gregor Hunter, 23 Dougie Fife.
Connacht: 15 Robbie Henshaw, 14 Tiernan O'Halloran, 13 Danie Poolman, 12 Dave McSharry, 11 Gavin Duffy (capt), 10 Dan Parks, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 Eoin McKeon, 7 Willie Faloon, 6 Johnny O'Connor, 5 Andrew Browne, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Ronan Loughney, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements:16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Denis Buckley, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Danny Qualter, 20 Dave Gannon, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Fetu'u Vainikolo.
What they said:
Edinburgh's head coach Michael Bradley
"It was very important that we got a win last weekend, we badly needed to get a 'W' on the board. It's been great for our confidence as we've prepared for Saturday's game.
"Connacht target the arrival of the visiting Scottish sides because they feel they've an excellent chance of winning those games. We've talked about that a lot at training this week as something we have to change.
"In the past we might not have brought the Scotland players straight back in and maybe given them the weekend off after the Tests, but it's vital that we build on the momentum from the Ospreys match, and have picked a strong side with the aim of doing just that."
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Friday 27th February|
|19:35||Ospreys vs Leinster|
|19:35||Ulster vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 28th February|
|19:15||Munster vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Sunday 1st March|
|12:45||Cardiff Blues vs Edinburgh|
|17:00||Zebre vs Dragons|
|17:15||Connacht vs Treviso|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:35||Cardiff Blues vs Connacht|
|19:35||Glasgow Warriors vs Zebre|
|Saturday 7th March|
|14:40||Ospreys vs Munster|
|17:15||Scarlets vs Leinster|
|18:00||Benetton Treviso vs Edinburgh|
|Sunday 8th March|
|16:00||Dragons vs Ulster|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:35||Leinster vs Glasgow|
|19:35||Ulster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 28th March|
|TBC||Benetton Treviso vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Ospreys vs Zebre|
|14:40||Scarlets vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Munster vs Connacht|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Cardiff Blues|
|19:35||Benetton Treviso vs Ospreys|
|Saturday 11th April|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Munster|
|TBC||Zebre vs Scarlets|
|14:40||Connacht vs Ulster|
|Sunday 12th April|
|16:00||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Leinster|
|Friday 24th April|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Zebre|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|Dragons 25 - 30 Connacht|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Glasgow 19 - 16 Ospreys|
|Scarlets 25 - 25 Munster|
|Friday 20th February|
|Edinburgh 17 - 20 Ulster|
|Leinster 29 - 8 Zebre|
|Benetton Treviso 40 - 24 Cardiff Blues|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Leinster 14 - 16 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Zebre 10 - 54 Glasgow|
|Scarlets 32 - 14 Connacht|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Munster 33 - 16 Cardiff Blues|
|Friday 13th February|
|Edinburgh 24 - 16 Ospreys|
|Ulster 43 - 3 Benetton Treviso|
|Sunday 11th January|
|Ospreys 22 - 11 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Benetton Treviso 20 - 24 Ulster|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Zebre 7 - 31 Munster|
|Cardiff Blues 13 - 22 Leinster|
|Friday 9th January|
|Connacht 13 - 16 Edinburgh|
|Glasgow 22 - 7 Scarlets|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com