Tuesday 19 November 2019

Solomons targets top-six finish

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons hopes his side can secure a Pro12 top-six finish
Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons hopes his side can secure a Pro12 top-six finish

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons has warned his players they are in for a war of attrition when they take on Munster at Murrayfield.

With four games to go before the Guinness PRO12 play-offs, the Irish Province are flying high in third place and have only the league contest to focus on after being knocked out of the European Champions Cup.

Edinburgh, though, are fighting on two fronts.

They have a European Challenge Cup semi-final with Newport Gwent Dragons to look forward to next week but before that hope to take another step towards qualifying for next year's Champions Cup by claiming a PRO12 top-six finish.

Edinburgh are currently seventh, equal on points with Connacht and three points ahead of Scarlets. A sixth-place finish would see the Gunners through while seventh spot requires a play-off match to determine if they take part in the continent's top competition.

But with Munster free to concentrate on their league form, Solomons knows his side will be up against it.

He said: "Munster come to BT Murrayfield at full strength, well rested, on the back of a great Six Nations for Ireland and being out of Europe, they only have the PRO12 play-offs on their mind.

"So we are all fully aware of what Saturday brings.

"The players are looking forward to what will be a big match and know that only their best will do."

Solomons keeps faith with the starting XV that beat London Irish to set up their semi-final meeting against Dragons.

Retaining his place at fullback is Greig Tonks while Dougie Fife - a late withdrawal from the starters last week due to a nose injury - comes back on the right wing with Tim Visser on the left. Phil Burleigh and Andries Strauss maintain their centre pairing.

Tom Heathcote is at stand-off and while Sam Hidalgo-Clyne continues at scrum-half.

The pack is unchanged since Sunday's European outing, with Alasdair Dickinson at loosehead, WP Nel at tighthead and Ross Ford at hooker. Ford will also captain the side again as Mike Coman continues with his return-to-play protocols following a head knock against Scarlets two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Anton Bresler and Ben Toolis form the partnership at lock with Roddy Grant, Hamish Watson and David Denton in the back row at blindside, openside and number eight respectively.

PA Media

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