Edinburgh boss Bradley ready for tough Saints challenge

READY FOR ACTION - Saints full-back Ben Foden
READY FOR ACTION - Saints full-back Ben Foden

EDINBURGH Rugby head coach Michael Bradley says Friday night’s Murrayfield showdown against Saints will really test the strength and depth of his squad (ko 7.30pm).

The head coach has made eight changes to the side that lined up against Newcastle last weekend, with Welsh cap John Yapp and All Black Ben Atiga set to make their club debuts at prop and inside-centre.

Saints are taking a full-strength side north of the border, with England stars Ben Foden, Dylan Hartley, Tom Wood, Phil Dowson and Lee Dickson all in the starting line-up.

And Bradley told edinburghrugby.org: “Northampton provide quality opposition for us to measure ourselves against.

“They’re very strong with a good pedigree – a bit like Munster who we play the following week in the first league match of the season.

“It’ll be a good challenge for us and they may even play in a similar way.
“We’ll approach the game in the same way we did in Newcastle in terms of testing new combinations from front-row to full-back, where Tom Brown will return to the starting side.
“That’s what our pre-season is about, seeing how players react to playing with each other under pressure while looking for other elements like attitude and commitment.
“When you have two pre-season matches the players are anxious to play and start at least one of the games to put a marker down for selection at the start of the season. This side has trained well this week in some good quality sessions and are now looking forward to getting started.”

Our man Tom Vickers will be at Murrayfield this evening, and you can get live updates from him on Twitter @WheresTommyV and also from @chronsport.

Read his report and the reaction of the men that matter following the game on this website.

Saints: Foden, Artemyev, G Pisi, Waldouck, K Pisi, Lamb, Dickson; Tonga’uiha, Hartley, Mujati, Manoa, Day, Dowson, Wood, van Velze. Replacements: Haywood, Waller, Doran-Jones, Sorenson, Harrison, Myler, Roberts, Burrell, Oakley, McMillan, Wilson.

Edinburgh: Brown, Penn, Tonks, Atiga, Visser, Hunter, Rees; Yapp, Titterell, Nell, Parker, Turnbull, Basilaia, Grant, Talei. Replacements: Walker, Hislop, Niven, Cox, McAlpine, Watson, Leck, Houston, Farndale, Fife, King.