Guinness PRO12: Munster travel to Edinburgh; Ospreys host Treviso on opening night
Last Updated: 05/09/14 6:52pm
Ross Ford: Will captain Edinburgh in opener
The 2014-15 Guinness PRO12 season kicks off on Friday night with Edinburgh hosting Munster and Ospreys tackling Treviso.
Edinburgh have named club captain Mike Coman on the bench for their PRO12 opener against Munster, with Ross Ford leading the XV in Limerick.
Coman wears jersey number 20 as Cornell du Preez is at eight while youngster Hamish Watson is on the flank after impressing in pre-season.
Watson, a Scotland U19 and U20 capped player, is a graduate of Edinburgh's Elite Development Programme and will be making his seventh start from 17 appearances to date for the club.
Meanwhile, despite stiff competition, the starting scrum-half spot has been secured by Stirling-born 23-year-old, Sean Kennedy, also a product of Scotland age-grade squads.
For Munster, Ireland's Simon Zebo makes a return and he is joined by Emerging Ireland duo Andrew Conway and Ian Keatley in the starting XV, while their touring colleagues Dave Foley and Tommy O'Donnell are named in the replacements.
Foley changes six
In making their competitive Munster debuts at Thomond Park, hooker Kevin O'Byrne, back-row Shane Buckley and centre Andrew Smith all start.
Foley has made six changes to the side that lined out against London Irish in Waterford last week with BJ Botha returning to the front-row while Shane Buckley takes the place of Robin Copeland at number eight.
Johne Murphy, Andrew Smith and Ronan O'Mahony retain their places in the backline but make the positional switches with Smith and Murphy linking up in the centre partnership while O'Mahony moves to full-back.
Ospreys centre Andrew Bishop will make his 200th appearance for the region when they kick-off the new season against Treviso on Friday.
Bishop lines up alongside Josh Matavesi in midfield, with Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar a familiar nine and ten for Steve Tandy's side.
Centre Matavesi, full-back Dan Evans and second-row Rynier Bernardo will all make their Ospreys debuts in the fixture at Liberty Stadium.
Meanwhile, Treviso have handed club debuts to centre Sam Christie, fly-half Joe Carlisle, number eight Leo Auva'a and tighthead prop Rupert Harden, who all arrived in Italy during the off-season.
Romulo Acosta, Albert Anae, Dean Budd, Paul Derbyshire, Simone Favaro, Edoardo Gori, Jayden Hayward, Alberto Lucchese, Bruno Mercanti, Francesco Minto, Josè Novak, Antonio Pavanello, Franco Sbaraglini, Alessandro Zanni are unavailable.
Watch Scarlets take on Ulster live on Sky Sports 1 on Saturday, with coverage from 2.40pm, followed by Glasgow v Leinster.