Edinburgh have rung the changes as they attempt to stop the rot and cling on their faint hopes of European Champions Cup qualification against Connacht tonight.
Acting head coach Duncan Hodge has switched half-backs and locks and changed two back three players for the visit of the Guinness PRO12 champions, who themselves are barely hanging on to hopes of reaching the top six.
A week after tumbling out of the Challenge Cup, the capital side know that their chances of playing in the senior competition hinge on ending their run of seven sucecssive defeats.
So far the move to Myreside has proved successful in terms of crowd numbers and atmosphere, but the Challenge Cup victory over Romanian minnows Timisoara Saracens remains their only victory at their new home since they switched from BT Murrayfield in January.
Once again there were good patches of play which had French Top 14 leaders La Rochelle in bother last week but individual errors continue to haunt the Edinburgh club, admitted Hodge.
“We played a lot of good rugby last week but a lack of consistency and a high error count meant we were unable to dominate the game for long periods,” said Hidge, who will revert to back coach when Richard Cockerill takes over in the summer.
“We’re continuing to work hard on cutting out the costly mistakes.”
Only one of the six changes is enforced with Jason Tovey out with a groin injury resulting in Duncan Weir’s recall. He’ll be partnered by Nathan Fowles, who had a bright showing as a replacxement last week.
With Blair Kinghorn away with Scotland Sevens Glenn Bryce comes in at full back and Rory Scholes replaces Tom Brown on the left wing.
The pack is unchanged other than the second rows, with Fraser McKenzie and Ben Toolis back from the back injury that caused him to miss the La Rochelle game.
Club co-captain Stuart McInally could make his 100th appearance for Edinburgh but it’ll be off the bench with Ross Ford retaining the starting team captaincy duties. Murray McCallum continues at loose head with all three specialists at No 1 – Alasdair Dickinson, Jack Cosgrove and Allan Dell – all still out injured.
Connacht have lost their last two away games with defeat in the re-arranged fixture against Zebre last week probably terminal to their chances of a top six finish.
“Connacht will be determined to bounce back from the Zebre loss but we want the basics of out game to be in order with an attitude and intensity to match,” added Hodge. “We hold home advantage, we want to make that count and put on a performance for our supporters”
Edinburgh (vs Connacht, Guinness PRO12, tonight at Myreside ko 7.35 pm, live on BBC Alba) G Bryce; D Hoyland, C Dean, P Burleigh, R Scholes; D Weir, N Fowles; M McCallum, R Ford (capt), S Berghan; F McKenzie, B Toolis; V Mata, H Watson, C du Preez.
Replacements: S McInally, D Appiah, K Bryce, G Gilchrist, J Ritchie, S Hidalgo-Clyne, T Brown, J Rasolea.