Heineken Cup Pool 6: Edinburgh v Perpignan match preview
Last Updated: 11/01/14 5:38pm
Edinburgh will be hoping to extend their stay in European competition on Saturday when they welcome Perpignan to Murrayfield.
The postponement of the New Year's Day derby against Glasgow Warriors has given Alan Solomons' side time to turn their attention to the French outfit.
Solomons believes that, on balance, his squad are feeling refreshed, despite the disruption to regular rugby.
"It meant that we haven't had continuity in playing and lost a bit of rhythm but, on the up side, a lot of the players needed a rest and I think it will stand us in good stead," said Solomons.
"The players have looked refreshed in training and I think it was beneficial for them, physically and mentally."
"If we want to continue in Europe then we need to win this game", he added.
"There is no doubt that Perpignan are a good side. They are very powerful and have great strength in depth like most Top 14 teams.
"It will be big challenge for us, there is no question about that. They are a good team with lethal strike power.
"We need to make sure that we do not create opportunities for them, which means cutting our error rate and maintaining our discipline in our systems."
Solomons has made one change to the side that was set to start on New Year's Day, with lock Izak van der Westhuizen back in the front line after his gradual return from injury (groin).
The club also welcome the return of centre Matt Scott, who starts on the bench, having recovered from the hand injury he sustained playing for Scotland against Japan in the November Tests.
Meanwhile, Perpignan name flyer Wandile Mjekevu, who tore Edinburgh apart when these sides last met, on the left wing.
Welsh internationals James Hook and Luke Charteris start at full-back and second-row respectively, with former Saracen Richard Haughton on the right wing.
The departing Sebastien Vahaamahina partners Charteris in the engine room, while the rangy Dan Leo lines up on the blindside flank.
Edinburgh: 15 Cuthbert, 14 Fife, 13 De Luca, 12 Atiga, 11 Brown, 10 Tonks, 9 Laidlaw (c); 1 Dickinson, 2 Ford, 3 Nel, 4 Gilchrist, 5 van der Westhuien, 6 du Preez, 7 Grant, 8 Denton.
Replacements: 16 Lutui, 17 Blaauw, 18 Cross, 19 Atkins, 20 Leonardi, 21 Hart, 22 Bezuidenhout, 23 Scott.
Perpignan: 15 Hook, 14 Haughton, 13 Mafi, 12 Piukala, 11 Mjekevu, 10 Allan, 9 Duvenage; 1 Taumalolo, 2 Guirado (c), 3 Ion, 4 Vahaamahina, 5 Charteris, 6 Leo, 7 Perez, 8 Chateau.
Replacements: 16 Delonca, 17 Custoja, 18 Pulu, 19 Narraway, 20 Ecochard, 21 Marty, 22 Michel, 23 Vilaceca.
Watch Edinburgh v Perpignan on the red button on Sky Sports HD2 from 18.00 on Saturday
Heineken Cup Week 5 2013/14
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall was left disappointed by his side's performance in their 21-11 loss to Toulouse.
Forwards coach Jono Gibbes hailed a gutsy recovery from Leinster as they ended Castres' proud 18-match home record.
George North insists that Northampton will go "flat out" in their pursuit of a Heineken Cup quarter-final place.
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