EDINBURGH head coach Alan Solomons admits his side are paying the price for his late arrival in the capital this summer.
The South African only took up his new Murrayfield post in mid-August – just a month before the RaboDirect Pro12 season kicked off. That delay has had a knock-on effect with results as Edinburgh’s solitary win from four games leaves them bottom of the league.
Solomons said: “What’s been tough is that – through no-one’s fault – myself and my defence coach Omar Mouneimne have basically come in at the start of the competitive season. So we have had no pre-season with the boys, we are busy doing it now in competition, which makes it difficult. To add to our woes, we have had guys of the calibre of Greig Laidlaw and Matt Scott not playing a competitive game this season, Ross Rennie still not playing a competitive game and Tim Visser one game. That doesn’t help but it’s just the way it is.”
However, Edinburgh are hopeful that they can repeat last season’s away win over Cardiff Blues when they meet at Cardiff Arms Park today.
Skipper Laidlaw – who kicked the winning drop-goal on that day last year – has recovered from the knee injury that has kept him sidelined since the summer and the Scotland scrum-half will make his first competitive outing of the season.
Solomons, pictured, said: “It’s great to have Greig back in the side. We have two fine young scrum-halves in Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Sean Kennedy but Greig brings a lot of experience and leadership earned at an international level.
“I believe he will make a big difference to the team.”
From those pivotal positions, Laidlaw and Harry Leonard will orchestrate a new-look backline, in which wingers Visser and Dougie Fife return from the head knocks they sustained against Ospreys a fortnight ago.
On-trial Argentine centre Joaquin Dominguez will make his first start for the club after extending his loan spell earlier this week.