DCSIMG

Ross Ford and Allan Jacobsen boost Edinburgh ahead of Ospreys clash

Ross Ford has been named in the starting lineup. Picture: Jane Barlow

Ross Ford has been named in the starting lineup. Picture: Jane Barlow

  • by DAVID FERGUSON
 

AS EDINBURGH bid to lift the pressure bearing down on their camp in tonight’s resumption of the RaboDirect PRO12, Scotland internationals Ross Ford and Allan Jacobsen have pledged themselves to the cause.

Jacobsen announced his retirement from international rugby this week while Ford was dropped from the Scotland squad and, at the time of going to press, was still waiting for his wife to give birth to their first child. Naming Ford to start – Andy Titterrell is out injured and Jacobsen on the bench – Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley was confident that both are mentally right to face the Ospreys tonight.

“Obviously, we are aware of Ross’s family situation, so a change may have to be made at short notice,” said Bradley. “I have spoken with Ross he assured me that he is happy and ready to play and I’m satisfied with that. It’s a measure of the man that he is prepared to do that. There’s no doubt we need a win from this game. We know we are under pressure so a good result is important. But the two games against the Ospreys last year were both pretty close so I think we can go into this one with confidence.

“Ospreys are in the same position as we are with regard to players being unavailable due to the autumn internationals. I understand that they have a few injury issues as well.

“Our guys are pretty determined. There is a lot of confidence and belief in the squad at the moment and the players are really looking forward to this one.”

Ospreys arrive at Murrayfield on a run of five wins, while Edinburgh have suffered five league defeats and seven in all competitions, their last win coming at home against Italians Zebre in September.

Bradley has made six changes to the side that lost to league leaders Ulster before the break with South African newcomer Izak van der Westhuizen and Perry Parker joining forces for the first time in the second row. Sep Visser and Dougie Fife replace the injured Lee Jones and John Houston, respectively, and James King remains at inside centre after an impressive return against Ulster and will face a namesake in the Ospreys side, albeit not directly as the Welshman plays lock. Scrum-half Richie Rees takes over from Chris Leck and Gregor Hunter returns at stand-off.

The Ospreys have a mix of youthful talent and experience with Andrew Bishop making a record 181st Ospreys appearance, while Owen Williams makes his league debut and Nicky Thomas and Sam Davies will follow suit if they come off the bench.

Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy commented: “International commitments and injuries mean that our resources are being pushed to the limit, but there’s a great spirit in the group going into this game.

“Like us, Edinburgh will be hit by national call-ups but I think that makes these periods all the more exciting.”

Edinburgh

15 G Tonks

14 S Visser

13 D Fife

12 J King

11 T Brown

10 G Hunter

9 R Rees

1 J Yapp

2 R Ford

3 W Nel

4 P Parker

5 I v d Westhuizen

6 S Cox (c)

8 S McInally

7 Roddy Grant

Subs

16 A Walker

17 A Jacobsen

18 L Niven

19 R McAlpine

20 H Watson

21 C Leck

22 J Houston

23 M Penn

Ospreys

15 R Fussell

14 T Isaacs

13 A Bishop

12 J Spratt

11 E Walker

10 M Morgan

9 R Webb

1 R Bevington

2 S Baldwin

3 O Williams

4 L Peers

5 J King

6 G Stowers

8 J Bearman (c)

7 S Lewis

Subs

16 D Jones

17 M Dwyer

18 N Thomas

19 I Gough

20 M Allen

21 T Habberfield

22 M Morgan

23 R Jones

 

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