Edinburgh Rugby welcome the return of Chris Paterson and Phil Godman to the starting line-up as the club looks to build on a three-match winning streak against Munster at Thomond Park Saturday (kick 8.30pm).
The sides have met once already this season, with Edinburgh seeing off the then unbeaten champions 29-14 courtesy of tries from centre Matt Scott and tomorrow’s captain and hooker Steven Lawrie.
Edinburgh Rugby head coach Michael Bradley said: “The last three weeks of successes all started with a win away against Benetton in Treviso which gave us confidence going into London Irish, which we converted, followed by the match against Racing Metro, which was a special day for everyone that was there.
“We’ve won three matches in a row but it would be great to win four. To do that we need to keep our performance levels up and show the same commitment for 80 minutes that we have in these three previous games.
“The boys are in a good place. They’re looking forward to the challenge against Munster away and then Aironi back home next week; both of which are important to us and our season.”
Godman’s start is the latest positive step in the return of the 23-times capped stand-off while Paterson starts for the first time since straining his groin in his return match from the Rugby World Cup against Leinster in October.
Paterson’s return sees Jim Thompson move in one place to outside-centre where he partners James King who, like try-scoring winger Tom Brown, has been promoted from the bench following an impressive replacement showing against Racing Metro last weekend.
Sep Visser, the 20-year-old younger brother of try-scoring sensation, Tim, has been handed his first competitive start on the right wing, while Scotland and British Lions scrum-half Mike Blair reforms a familiar half-back partnership with Godman on his 150th match in the black and red.
Bradley added: “Sep [Visser] has been brought in on a training contract so he plays a lot of his rugby at Boroughmuir, which is very good because the club give him good quality exposure. He then gets more technical support by our coaching staff here before returning to play for the club, so this is an opportunity for Sep to play on a big stage like Thomond Park against quality opposition.
“We feel that the time is right for him and he’ll get a good feel for the levels he needs to perform and, after the game, he’ll have something to work towards in the next stage of his development.”
In the pack Bradley has challenged a new front-row trio to grasp the opportunity to impress against quality opposition, with Kyle Traynor and Jack Gilding propping alongside Lawrie.
Steven Turnbull and Sean Cox start in the second-row alongside a back-row formation of Netani Talei, Ross Rennie and Stuart McInally.
Edinburgh Rugby team to play Munster at Thomond Park in round nine of the RaboDirect PRO12 on Saturday 26 November (kick-off 8.30pm) – LIVE ON BBC ALBA
15 Chris Paterson
14 Sep Visser
13 Jim Thompson
12 James King
11 Tom Brown
10 Phil Godman
9 Mike Blair
1 Kyle Traynor
2 Steven Lawrie CAPTAIN
3 Jack Gilding
4 Sean Cox
5 Steven Turnbull
6 Netani Talei
7 Ross Rennie
8 Stuart McInally
16 Andrew Kelly
17 Robin Hislop
18 Lewis Niven
19 Esteban Lozada
20 Roddy Grant
21 Greig Laidlaw
22 Harry Leonard
23 Gregor Hunter