Jamie Roberts tackles Tim Visser during last week's Heineken cup clash

Versatile duo Mike Blair and Greig Laidlaw will steer the Edinburgh Rugby back-line against Cardiff Blues in round four of the Heineken Cup at Murrayfield Stadium tomorrow (kick-off 8pm).

Two wins from three in Heineken Cup Pool 2 means Edinburgh Rugby are just three points behind this weekend’s opponents, who leapfrogged Edinburgh into the Pool’s top spot in the reverse fixture last Friday (25-8).

Now, with home advantage, the capital club have the chance to redress the Pool positions, with a win capable of restoring Edinburgh to the top spot with two matches remaining – Racing Metro away followed by London Irish at Murrayfield.

The selection of Blair and Laidlaw is the only change in the Edinburgh Rugby back-line, while two personnel changes have been made in the pack – Grant Gilchrist and Netani Talei coming in for Esteban Lozada and Stuart McInally in the second and back-row.

Talei’s introduction means there’s no room for McInally in the match-day 23, with Ross Rennie retaining the back-row replacement berth, while Lozada takes Steven Turnbull’s place on the bench.

Talei, who started and scored in the club’s last home Heineken Cup match against Racing Metro, said: “Everyone’s looking forward to this game, the boys are confident and have been focussed on this match since we left Cardiff on Saturday. It’s a big, big game for us.

“Cardiff have the ability to slot points from pretty much anywhere within 50 metres so we can’t afford to give away cheap penalties. We have to tackle the basics first at the ruck and the tackle area – that’s what Cardiff are very good at. If we put our focus there first and give our backs the go forward we’re capable of scoring tries from anywhere around the park.”

Other notable inclusions see centre Matt Scott return from a hip injury sustained in the side’s 48-47 win over Racing Metro, while the experienced Phil Godman provides the half-back replacement option for Laidlaw and Blair from the bench.

Starting XV:
15 Chris Paterson
14 Lee Jones
13 Nick De Luca
12 James King
11 Tim Visser
10 Greig Laidlaw (C)
9 Mike Blair
1 Allan Jacobsen
2 Ross Ford
3 Geoff Cross
4 Grant Gilchrist
5 Sean Cox
6 David Denton
7 Roddy Grant
8 Netani Talei

Replacements:
16 Steven Lawrie
17 Kyle Traynor
18 Jack Gilding
19 Esteban Lozada
20 Ross Rennie
21 Phil Godman
22 Matt Scott
23 Tom Brown

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