RaboDirect PRO12 match preview: Edinburgh v Ulster
Last Updated: 22/03/13 6:44pm
Edinburgh's interim head coach Stevie Scott has made three changes to the pack to face Ulster at Murrayfield on Friday.
Back rower Ross Rennie makes a welcome return from the shoulder injury he sustained in Scotland's Test match against New Zealand in November.
Netani Talei replaces the injured David Denton at number eight and lock Grant Gilchrist comes back into the squad after his international debut against France last weekend.
Both Scott and interim assistant coach Duncan Hodge have seen enough of promising young scrum-half Sean Kennedy from his Scotland A success and loan spell at Glasgow Warriors to hand the 21-year-old his debut, where he will partner Piers Francis at half-back from the outset.
Ben Atiga returns to inside-centre for his 10th appearance in the competition alongside Dougie Fife, who has been moved infield to accommodate Tom Brown on the wing, with the back three completed by Greig Tonks and Lee Jones.
Of note is the firepower named on the bench, with an all-international front-row of Ross Ford, John Yapp and Geoff Cross ready to enter the fray as well as the division's three-time top try-scorer, Tim Visser.
Meanwhile, Johann Muller is selected for the first time since February for Ulster and is joined in the second row by Lewis Stevenson.
Dan Tuohy has been named in the back row alongside Mike McComish and Robbie Diack, who have been retained from the team which drew with Treviso. John Afoa has switched back to his regular tighthead prop position, with Tom Court at loosehead and Rob Herring at hooker.
Jared Payne will line up at full-back for the first time since the beginning of January and is joined in the back three by Andrew Trimble and Michael Allen.
Paul Marshall is another returning player and he will be partnered at half-back by fellow Irish cap Paddy Jackson. Stuart Olding, who has scored twice in his last two games for the province, will again combine with Darren Cave in midfield.
Nick Williams and Peter Nelson have returned from injury and are named among the replacements. They are joined on the bench by Niall Annett, Michael Heaney, Callum Black, Ali Birch and Ricky Andrew.
Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Lee Jones, 13 Dougie Fife, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Tom Brown, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Sean Kennedy, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Ross Rennie, 6 Stuart McInally, 5 Sean Cox (c), 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Steven Lawrie, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 John Yapp, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Perry Parker, 20 Hamish Watson, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Harry Leonard, 23 Tim Visser.
Ulster: 15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Darren Cave, 12 Stuart Olding, 11 Michael Allen, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Paul Marshall, 8 Robbie Diack, 7 Mike McComish, 6 Dan Tuohy, 5 Lewis Stevenson, 4 Johann Muller (c), 3 John Afoa, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Tom Court.
Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Calum Black, 18 Ricky Lutton, 19 Nick Williams, 20 Ali Birch, 21 Michael Heaney, 22 Ricky Andrew, 23 Peter Nelson.
What they said...
Edinburgh's interim head coach Stevie Scott
"The players' reaction in training this week has been excellent. It's been a tough season but their commitment to improving and getting results for the club and its fans has been superb," said Scott.
"A lot of hard work has gone in this week but, importantly, the work done has also been of a very high standard. There's a real will to do whatever it takes to get our results back on track."
Fri 24th Apr
Edinburgh37 - 0Zebre
Ulster26 - 10Leinster
Sat 25th Apr
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Ospreys
Munster0 - 0Treviso
Dragons0 - 0Scarlets
Fri 8th May
Dragons0 - 0Edinburgh
Leinster0 - 0Treviso
Ospreys0 - 0Glasgow Warriors
Sat 9th May
Ulster0 - 0Munster
Zebre0 - 0Connacht
Sun 10th May
Scarlets0 - 0Cardiff Blues
Sat 16th May
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Zebre
Connacht0 - 0Ospreys
Edinburgh0 - 0Leinster
Glasgow Warriors0 - 0Ulster
Munster0 - 0Dragons
Treviso0 - 0Scarlets
RaboDirect PRO12 2012/13 Round 18
Alberto di Bernardo helped himself to 14 points as Benetton Treviso inflicted a 26-17 defeat on the Cardiff Blues.
Cardiff hand a debut to Filo Paulo in Saturday's RaboDirect PRO12 encounter with Treviso at Stade Monigo.
The Scarlets welcome back several Wales internationals for Friday's PRO12 clash with Zebre at Stadio XXV Aprile.