All change for Edinburgh as Test trio out of Munster trip

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons has made seven changes to his starting line-up for this afternoon's match against Munster in Limerick.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne in action for Edinburgh. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS/SRU
Sam Hidalgo-Clyne in action for Edinburgh. Picture: Alan Harvey/SNS/SRU

Following last weekend’s disappointing 33-20 home defeat by Leinster, the capital side travel to Thomond Park without the Test trio of Ross Ford, WP Nel and Grant 
Gilchrist, all of whom have been rested.

With Scotland players only allowed to play five consecutive games, Solomons has opted to stand down the key trio for this one, with young back-rower Jamie Ritchie 
given another week off.

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Scotland scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne is promoted from the bench after being kept out by Nathan Fowles in the first three Pro12 games, while Test cap Damien 
Hoyland is in for the first time this season on the rightwing.

A shoulder injury to Phil Burleigh sees yet another new centre pairing, with Michael Allen shifting from the wing and 22-year-old Chris Dean returning to action in the 
No 12 shirt.

In the pack, Cornell du Preez is back at No 8 after returning off the bench in the Leinster loss and Stuart McInally takes the full captaincy with Gilchrist not involved.

Kevin Bryce makes his first start in his new position of tighthead and Fraser McKenzie replaces the co-captain in the second row.

With the injured Anton Bresler facing a couple of months on the sidelines, 21-year-old lock Lewis 
Carmichael comes on to the bench and is in line to make his Edinburgh debut.

“I think it will be really good for him to be involved this weekend,” said Solomons of the academy graduate, pictured, who has been playing club rugby for Melrose.

“He has played well for his club and the feedback we are getting about his performances from everyone around Scotland week in and week out is massively positive,

“I think the time he spent with us last year was invaluable because he got into a professional training regime, picked up a bit of weight and has been able to hold that weight.

“He is a very intelligent boy and an intelligent player and I have been very impressed by him.”

Solomons is expecting a tough game this afternoon as his side seek to even up their win-loss record for the 

“I think they are always a good side, especially at Thomond Park. They have a couple of wins already and we are prepared for a tough test,” said Solomons.

Edinburgh lost to Munster in Cork during the late season collapse which saw them slip to a ninth-place finish and Solomons believes a match at the province’s spiritual home in Limerick presents an even greater challenge.

“My experience of it over the years is that they had good support in both cities, but Thomond seemed to be their traditional home,” said the coach.

“They are centralising everything and making it their main home.”

Munster present a different challenge to that faced by the more expansive Leinster eight days ago and Solomons added: “We are up for a big test up front and the guys that are playing know there will be some challenges there, that is for sure.

“Our defence last week was massively disappointing. Obviously that has been addressed in the reviews and the practices and the players know what is expected. They must do better this week.”