Edinburgh Rugby head coach Michael Bradley has named a strong side to tackle Treviso at Murrayfield Stadium tomorrow night as the club target a return to winning ways in the RaboDirect PRO12 (kick-off 7.30pm).
The Italians have taken notable scalps this season, stunning the division with their opening defeat of champions, Ospreys, followed by last week’s win against the then pace-setting Scarlets.
Both successes have come at their Stadio Monigo home, with the green and whites arriving in Edinburgh seeking to add the capital club to the list of conquered sides so far.
After back-to-back losses to Leinster and Dragons on the road, the game presents Bradley’s men with the last opportunity to improve their RaboDirect PRO12 standing before the group stages of the Heineken Cup get underway next week.
The Murrayfield men made many fond memories in last season’s cup campaign, en route to the semi-final in Dublin, however thoughts of the competition are far from thecoach’s mind as he named five returning Scotland internationalists in a strong selection.
He said: “We always enjoy playing at home, and played well against Treviso here last season [Edinburgh won the match 44-21], so we’re looking forward to the match and the opportunity to get our campaign back on the front foot for our home fans.
“Treviso are a strong, physical, team and have more than half the Italian national side, so we certainly don’t want to get into an arm wrestle with them.
“Our focus will be on retaining our shape and our width and putting pressure on them in the wide channels, something which characterises our style of play.
“We’d certainly prefer to go into the Heineken Cup having won our previous match however this game’s importance lies with the RaboDirect PRO12 and our ambition to climb the table and make the play-offs.”
Alongside the returning Denton are open-side flanker Roddy Grant and number 8 Dimitri Basilaia, who gets his first start for the club.
Hooker and Scotland captain, Ross Ford, comes back into the squad with tight-head prop Willem Nel, to join forces with Allan Jacobsen in the front-row, while lock Grant Gilchrist reforms a familiar second-row partnership with Sean Cox.
Stand-off Greig Laidlaw [pictured] returns to captain the side and partners scrum-half Chris Leck, who gets his first start of the season, while Matt Scott returns to partner Ben Atiga in midfield and Lee Jones comes on to the wing.
Edinburgh Rugby team to play Treviso at Murrayfield Stadium tomorrow night (Friday 5 October, kick-off 7.30pm)
15 Greig Tonks
14 Lee Jones
13 Matt Scott
12 Ben Atiga
11 Tim Visser
10 Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN
9 Chris Leck
1 Allan Jacobsen
2 Ross Ford
3 Willem Nel
4 Grant Gilchrist
5 Sean Cox
6 David Denton
7 Roddy Grant
8 Dimitri Basilaia
16 Andy Titterrell
17 John Yapp
18 Lewis Niven
19 Netani Talei
20 Ross Rennie
21 Richie Rees
22 John Houston
23 Dougie Fife
Unavailable though injury: Ben Cairns (knee), Jamie Farndale (shin), Gregor Hunter (pec strain), Steven Lawrie (knee), Robert McAlpine (ankle), Perry Parker (ankle), Steven Turnbull (knee)