Edinburgh v Ulster: Six changes to starting XV for vital PRO14 clash

Phil Burleigh, left, and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne will both start against Ulster. Picture: SNS Group
Phil Burleigh, left, and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne will both start against Ulster. Picture: SNS Group
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Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill has made several changes to his starting line-up for the vital showdown with Ulster at BT Murrayfield on Friday night.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Duncan Weir form a half-back pairing as two of six changes Cockerill has made from the side that lined up against Cardiff Blues in last weekend’s European Challenge Cup clash.

Edinburgh are chasing their maiden spot in the PRO14 Final Series, and Cockerill has urged his players to show what they’re capable of.

He said: “We’ve never qualified for the PRO14 Final Series, so we have a little bit of pressure on ourselves to get that right, so we can prove that we are capable of that.

“We’ve got to learn what that feels like and how to cope with that. The best way to do that is to experience it.”

Declaring that his side needed to “go back to our basics” in terms of physicality and mentality, Cockerill added: “There is no doubt that we are capable of winning these games.

“We have some expectations within the playing group. What I expect is 100 per cent commitment and I want us to put our best game out on the field, which we have done more often than not.”

Cockerill has named an unaltered back-three of Blair Kinghorn, Duhan van der Merwe and Dougie Fife while Phil Burleigh makes his first start since January in the midfield alongside Mark Bennett.

Simon Berghan starts at tighthead, with Stuart McInally and Jordan Lay holding onto their starting spots.

Ben Toolis is reinstated to the second row alongside Grant Gilchrist and Jamie Ritchie comes into the back-row alongside Magnus Bradbury and Viliame Mata.

Bradbury will make his 50th appearance for Edinburgh when he runs out on Friday evening.

Edinburgh team to face Ulster in the Guinness PRO14 at BT Murrayfield on Friday 6 April (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC ALBA.

15. Blair Kinghorn 14. Dougie Fife 13. Mark Bennett 12. Phil Burleigh 11. Duhan van der Merwe 10. Duncan Weir 9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne 1. Jordan Lay 2. Stuart McInally 3. Simon Berghan 4. Ben Toolis 5. Grant Gilchrist 6. Magnus Bradbury 7. Jamie Ritchie 8. Viliame Mata.

Replacements: 16. Neil Cochrane 17. Rory Sutherland 18. WP Nel 19. Lewis Carmichael 20. Cornell du Preez 21. Sean Kennedy 22. Jaco van der Walt 23. Chris Dean.