Injured Chris Paterson makes way for Jim Thompson

Scotland internationalists Mike Blair and Ross Rennie return to the Edinburgh Rugby front-line as two of six changes to the side that will face Treviso at the Stadio Monigo tomorrow (kick-off 2pm GMT).

Their inclusion completes the reintegration of the club’s eight Rugby World Cup internationalists and sees Roddy Grant (back-row) and Greig Laidlaw (scrum-half) rotated to the bench for the first time this season, with Laidlaw’s captaincy handed to hooker Ross Ford, who packs down with props Allan Jacobsen and Geoff Cross.

Edinburgh Rugby head coach, Michael Bradley, said: “This is another big game for us in the context of the RaboDirect PRO12 championship and the opportunity to reintroduce key players successfully ahead of a crucial 12-game phase of the 2011/12 season.

“Edinburgh Rugby’s ability to score tries and to play an expansive and exciting game is well-documented but we must be as clinical in the execution of out defensive structures. Treviso are on a high a the moment after a series of good results, none more so than their recent 50-point win over the Dragons. A confident Italian side at home is a very tough prospect indeed but we have faith in our ability to put points on the board and, with a greater concentration and commitment to our defence, we can come home with a win this weekend.”

Jim Thompson will start at full-back in place of the injured Chris Paterson (groin) while Lee Jones comes in for Simon Webster on the wing, the Borderer having missed last weekend’s match with a groin strain.

The backs are completed by the retention of 19-year-old stand-off Harry Leonard, centres Matt Scott and Nick de Luca and record-breaking winger, Tim Visser, who looks to continue his try scoring form from his familiar post on the wing.

The introduction of Grant Gilchrist and Netani Talei for Steven Turnbull (lock) and Stuart McInally (number 8) are the final two changes to the starting team, while Chris Leck earns a place on the bench having recovered from an ankle injury and Tom Brown takes Thompson’s vacated place on the bench.

Starting XV:
15 Jim Thompson
14 Lee Jones
13 Nick de Luca
12 Matt Scott
11 Tim Visser
10 Harry Leonard
9 Mike Blair
1 Allan Jacobsen
2 Ross Ford CAPTAIN
3 Geoff Cross
4 Esteban Lozada
5 Grant Gilchrist
6 Dave Denton
7 Ross Rennie
8 Netani Talei

Replacements:
16 Steven Lawrie
17 Kyle Traynor
18 Lewis Niven
19 Steven Turnbull
20 Stuart McInally
21 Chris Leck
22 Greig Laidlaw
23 Tom Brown

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