EDINBURGH head coach Alan Solomons has named four changes to the starting Edinburgh Rugby side for tomorrow’s pre-season match against Newcastle Falcons at Mansfield Park.
The game is the club’s final outing before the Guinness PRO12 gets underway next Friday, with Solomons taking a different tack as they near the competitive campaign.
He said: “This is our last match before the season starts, so we’ll adopt a slightly different approach from the previous fixture, in which we had pre-planned game-time to ensure all who were fit and available had the chance to play.
“It’s still a friendly game in the sense that it’s an opportunity to look at players, systems and set plays, however we’ll be seeking to run a tighter operation that’s more akin to a competitive match.
“Newcastle will be a very tough challenge and have certainly strengthened their squad since last season.
Among the changes is full-back Jack Cuthbert, who starts in place of Nick McLennan, having recovered from the knee injury sustained playing for Scotland 7s in the London leg of the HSBC Sevens World Series in May.
Scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, who impressed off the bench against Leicester, replaces Sean Kennedy, while centre Sam Beard and back-row Tomas Leonardi are injury replacements for Chris Dean (ankle) and Roddy Grant (shoulder).
Other notable changes to the squad see loose-head prop Alasdair Dickinson, who has recovered from a groin strain, and newly signed centre Phil Burleigh, join the 12 replacements.
Solomons added: “I had the chance to see Nick McLennan last weekend so that opportunity has now been handed to Jack, who played regularly and well for us last season.
“The same can be said for Tomas [Leonardi], who has returned to us in excellent condition and, while I think Jamie Ritchie coped well last weekend, it is better for him to come off the bench at this point in his career.
“We’d like to give Phil Burleigh some decent game time having trained with us for two weeks, while the performance of young prop Rory Sutherland means he’ll gain more good experience from another start and allow us to reintroduce Dicko [Alasdair Dickinson] off the bench as he comes back from injury.”