Edinburgh Rugby seek to end losing run in Italy

Alan Solomons and his squad are looking to defend an unbeaten start. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Alan Solomons and his squad are looking to defend an unbeaten start. Picture: Ian Rutherford

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Having lost on their last two visits to Zebre, Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons knows that his men will need to be ready for a testing Guinness Pro12 encounter tomorrow at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

The capital side have not won in Parma since March 2013 when now Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw kicked them to a 9-7 success.

In 2013/14 they lost 26-13 and last season they went down 18-10 to the side that have finished bottom of the Pro12 table for the last three years.

As a result, Solomons has urged his team to be up for the challenge as Edinburgh look to make it five league wins from five.

“The Italian sides when they are at home are a completely different kettle of fish to when they play away,” Solomons said.

“Zebre’s Italian internationalists will all be back after a rest following the World Cup and it will be an important game for them.

“We need to go there and play well right from the first minute to keep our unbeaten start going.

“On average for the first four games of the campaign we have had between 10 and 12 guys out injured or at the World Cup and yet we have performed well and that speaks volumes for the strength in depth in the squad.

“The trick now is to keep things going as all of the World Cup players are being reintegrated into the various Pro12 squads.”

Only Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Rory Sutherland of Edinburgh’s Scotland contingent are set to be available to play tomorrow while a number of other players have picked up knocks.

Prop Grant Shiells and scrum-half Sean Kennedy are out with back problems while centre Chris Dean came off against Ulster at half-time and is a doubt.

Allan Dell, the prop who was in the Scotland extended squad before the World Cup, is also recovering from a head knock.

Meanwhile, Solomons welcomed John Hardie’s addition to the Edinburgh squad and said: “We look forward to having John join us, he is a first class bloke and he had a first class World Cup. I think he will fit in and add a lot of value to Edinburgh.”

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