RaboDirect PRO12: Edinburgh welcome Leinster to Murrayfield

Last Updated: 20/12/13 9:27pm

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Edinburgh host second-placed Leinster at fortress Murrayfield in Friday's Rabo-Direct Pro12 clash.

Edinburgh have won four of their last six games in all competitions, whilst at home they have been defeated only once since April in the competition.

They welcome a trio of Scotland internationalists back into the fold.

Captain Greig Laidlaw, centre Nick De Luca and newly re-signed No 8 David Denton - who all missed Sunday's Heineken Cup away win over Gloucester - will start the match.

Leinster coach Matt O'Connor has made a number of changes to the starting XV from that selected last weekend against Northampton Saints.

Isaac Boss is included for the first time in several weeks having recovered sufficiently from a hamstring injury and he partners Ian Madigan in the half-backs, who has been selected at fly-half once again.

Luke Fitzgerald and Brian O'Driscoll are also retained from last weeks starting XV, with Zane Kirchner promoted from the bench. Noel Reid and Darragh Fanning also come into the side, Fanning after playing for the Leinster 'A' team in their fine win over Cross Keys last weekend.

Centre Paddy Wallace will play for Ulster for the first time in nine months in their clash against Zebre at Ravenhill.

Wallace, who has made a record 188 appearances for Ulster, suffered an ACL injury against Glasgow in February. He returns to the senior team following two games for the Ulster Ravens in the British and Irish Cup.

He starts at inside centre and is one of nine personnel and three positional switches to the side that beat Treviso last weekend.

Zebre welcome back full-back Dion Berryman and flanker Filippo Ferrarini, who have recovered from injuries to take their respective places in the starting line-up.

Swinson returns

Glasgow Warriors have slipped to two defeats in their last four PRO12 fixtures, dropping them from top of the table to third as they welcome Benetton Treviso to Scotstoun.

Second-row Tim Swinson returns to action after picking up an injury during Scotland's victory over Japan at the start of November.

In the backs Sean Maitland replaces Stuart Hogg at full-back, Tommy Seymour switches to the right wing and Niko Matawalu moves to the left wing, having started the last two games at scrum-half.

And in the forwards, Gordon Reid comes in for Ryan Grant at loosehead, Pat MacArthur continues at hooker and Jon Welsh keeps his place at tighthead.

Treviso are set to play their first game without head coach Franco Smith, who stepped down after the brace of Heineken Cup defeats to Ulster.

In his stead, Marius Goosen takes charge of the team, and names Manoa Vosawai and Corniel van Zyl for their 50th domestic appearances. Mat Berquist starts at fly-half, with Angelo Esposito on the left wing, while Dean Budd comes into the side at openside flanker.

In the final match of the night, Cardiff Blues entertain fellow Welsh side Ospreys having suffered just one defeat in their last five games.

Andries Pretorius is one of four changes for the Blues as director of rugby Phil Davies looks to build on the Heineken Cup double win over Glasgow Warriors.

Centre Dafydd Hewitt is also handed a recall, with Rhys Patchell missing the game through injury, while the return of Pretorius sees Macauley Cook move to the second-row to partner Filo Paulo.

Prop Benoit Bourrust is named alongside hooker Kristian Dacey and skipper Sam Hobbs.

Ospreys are without hooker Richard Hibbard, second-row Ian Evans and centre duo Andrew Bishop and Ashley Beck.

The visitors enter the derby clash on a back of a Heineken Cup victory over Castres.

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RaboDirect PRO12 2013/14 R10

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