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RaboDirect PRO12 match preview: Edinburgh v Ulster
Edinburgh's interim head coach Stevie Scott has made three changes to the pack to face Ulster at Murrayfield on Friday.
Back rower Ross Rennie makes a welcome return from the shoulder injury he sustained in Scotland's Test match against New Zealand in November.
Netani Talei replaces the injured David Denton at number eight and lock Grant Gilchrist comes back into the squad after his international debut against France last weekend.
Both Scott and interim assistant coach Duncan Hodge have seen enough of promising young scrum-half Sean Kennedy from his Scotland A success and loan spell at Glasgow Warriors to hand the 21-year-old his debut, where he will partner Piers Francis at half-back from the outset.
Ben Atiga returns to inside-centre for his 10th appearance in the competition alongside Dougie Fife, who has been moved infield to accommodate Tom Brown on the wing, with the back three completed by Greig Tonks and Lee Jones.
Of note is the firepower named on the bench, with an all-international front-row of Ross Ford, John Yapp and Geoff Cross ready to enter the fray as well as the division's three-time top try-scorer, Tim Visser.
Meanwhile, Johann Muller is selected for the first time since February for Ulster and is joined in the second row by Lewis Stevenson.
Dan Tuohy has been named in the back row alongside Mike McComish and Robbie Diack, who have been retained from the team which drew with Treviso. John Afoa has switched back to his regular tighthead prop position, with Tom Court at loosehead and Rob Herring at hooker.
Jared Payne will line up at full-back for the first time since the beginning of January and is joined in the back three by Andrew Trimble and Michael Allen.
Paul Marshall is another returning player and he will be partnered at half-back by fellow Irish cap Paddy Jackson. Stuart Olding, who has scored twice in his last two games for the province, will again combine with Darren Cave in midfield.
Nick Williams and Peter Nelson have returned from injury and are named among the replacements. They are joined on the bench by Niall Annett, Michael Heaney, Callum Black, Ali Birch and Ricky Andrew.
Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Dougie Fife, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox (c), 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Steven Lawrie, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 John Yapp, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Perry Parker, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Harry Leonard, 23 Tim Visser.
Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Michael Allen, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Robbie Diack, 7 Mike McComish, 6 Dan Tuohy, 5 Lewis Stevenson, 4 Johann Muller (c), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Calum Black, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Nick Williams, 20 Ali Birch, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Ricky Andrew, 23 Peter Nelson.
What they said...
Edinburgh's interim head coach Stevie Scott
"The players' reaction in training this week has been excellent. It's been a tough season but their commitment to improving and getting results for the club and its fans has been superb," said Scott.
"A lot of hard work has gone in this week but, importantly, the work done has also been of a very high standard. There's a real will to do whatever it takes to get our results back on track."
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Guinness PRO12 Table
|Sunday 21st December|
|16:00||Dragons vs Zebre|
|Friday 26th December|
|14:05||Cardiff Blues vs Dragons|
|17:00||Munster vs Leinster|
|18:45||Ulster vs Connacht|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:40||Glasgow vs Edinburgh|
|17:15||Ospreys vs Scarlets|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:00||Zebre vs Treviso|
|Thursday 1st January|
|14:05||Newport Gwent D'gons vs Cardiff Blues|
|17:00||Connacht vs Munster|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:35||Edinburgh vs Glasgow Warriors|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Zebre|
|14:40||Leinster vs Ulster|
|17:05||Scarlets vs Ospreys|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:35||Connacht vs Edinburgh|
|19:35||Glasgow vs Scarlets|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:40||Cardiff Blues vs Leinster|
|15:00||Zebre vs Munster|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Treviso vs Ulster|
|16:00||Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Wednesday 14th January|
|TBC||Leinster vs Newport Gwent D'gons|
|TBC||Scarlets vs Connacht|
|TBC||Edinburgh vs Ospreys|
|TBC||Ulster vs Benetton Treviso|
|TBC||Zebre vs Glasgow|
|TBC||Munster vs Cardiff Blues|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Ospreys 31 - 20 Ulster|
|Glasgow Warriors 21 - 18 Munster|
|Friday 19th December|
|Cardiff Blues 21 - 9 Scarlets|
|Edinburgh 48 - 0 Treviso|
|Leinster 21 - 11 Connacht|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Glasgow Warriors 19 - 15 Dragons|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Connacht 14 - 8 Scarlets|
|Leinster 18 - 12 Ospreys|
|Zebre 18 - 10 Edinburgh|
|Friday 28th November|
|Cardiff Blues 36 - 25 Treviso|
|Munster 21 - 20 Ulster|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff Blues|
|Treviso 24 - 24 Leinster|
|Friday 21st November|
|Ulster 25 - 16 Ospreys|
|Connacht 43 - 3 Zebre|
|Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow Warriors|
|Dragons 12 - 38 Munster|
|Saturday 1st November|
|Ulster 23 - 6 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|Scarlets 28 - 13 Zebre|
|Cardiff Blues 24 - 28 Munster|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com