Edinburgh’s front row crisis has finally abated and international John Hardie could finally make his return as the capital side aim to end their sorry run of defeats in the Guinness PRO12 tonight.
Newport Gwent Dragons – themselves going through a crisis with a WRU rescue package hanging in the balance – are the visitors to Myreside in Edinburgh’s final home game of a disjointed and desperately disappointing season, with the only realistic aim left finishing above tonight’s visitors and the two Italian sides.
At least Edinburgh’s front row problems which saw tight head Murray McCallum pressed into duty on the “wrong” side of the scrum have abated with Scotland international Allan Dell returning to the starting line-up as one of four changes from the team that lost to Treviso last time out.
Ben Toolis, a late illness call-off from that game, returns to the second row, Junior Rasolea makes a rare start in the centre while George Turner has his first start for the club at hooker.
Ross Ford and McCallum are on the bench along with Hardie, who last played for Scotland against Wales in the Six Nations before suffering a knee injury.
Grant Gilchrist, who recently signed an extension to stay at the club, will skipper the side.
“We see tomorrow night’s game as a big opportunity to make amends for recent results,” said acting head coach Duncan Hodge, with the team having lost eight in a row and not won in the league since they moved from BT Murrayfield to Myreside.
“This is our last home game of the season and we’re looking for a big performance to repay the fans.
“They have been with is every step of the way through a testing campaign and this is an opportunity to thank them for their loyal support.”
Edinburgh team: G Bryce; D Hoyland, C Dean, J Rasolea, R Scholes; J Tovey, N Fowles; A Dell, G Turner, S Berghan; G Gilchrist (capt), B Toolis; V Mata, H Watson, C du Preez.
Replacements: R Ford, MMcCallum, K Bryce, F McKenzie, J Hardie, S Hidalgo-Clyne, D Weir, B Kinghorn.