Heineken Cup Pool Two
Edinburgh looking for momentum against Castres
January 15, 2009
Phil Godman starts at fly-half for Edinburgh against Castres © Getty Images
Edinburgh host Castres on Friday night in search of their second Heineken Cup win of the campaign.
With little more than pride at stake at Murrayfield, Andy Robinson's men will hope to continue the momentum secured with recent Magners League wins over Glasgow and Ulster and their battling displays in previous rounds against Wasps.
Allister Hogg skippers the home side, with Phil Godman starting at fly-half after some fine recent performances. Godman partners scrum-half Greig Laidlaw, in the starting line-up for a rested Mike Blair, while the in-form Hugo Southwell retains the fullback jersey with Chris Paterson on the bench.
"Even if we can't realistically qualify for the knock-out stages, we are going out there to win the game and finish as high up the Pool as possible," said Laidlaw. It is a hard task to dislodge Mike (Blair) from the team; there is no hiding from that fact. Mike is one of the top scrum halves in the world at the minute.
"I am always striving to push my standards up so I can compete for the scrum half position and to take my chance when it comes along."
Edinburgh boss Andy Robinosn anticipates a great spectacle at Murrayfield. "There may not mean be anything at stake in this game in terms of qualification, but it promises to be a great spectacle," he said. "Castres will play some outstanding rugby this weekend and it will probably be a game for the rugby connoisseurs, who will come and watch a French team play with a lot of flair."
Castres will be buoyed with their recent shock win over Leinster, but have chosen to rest a number of senior players for the trip to the Scottish capital. France skipper Lionel Nallet will not travel after a series of niggling injuries, while scrum-half Sébastien Tillous-Borde and fly-half Anthony Lagardère are also rested, meaning starts for Kiwi Kevin Senio and Romain Teulet at half-back.
Edinburgh: H Southwell; A Turnbull, B Cairns, N De Luca, S Webster; P Godman, G Laidlaw; A Jacobsen, R Ford, G Kerr, C Hamilton, B Gissing, S Newlands, S Cross, A Hogg (capt)
Replacements: A Kelly, K Traynor, R Reid, S Lawrie, M Blair, C Paterson, J Houston
Castres Olympique: T Bouquié; L Milford, C Sika, T Sanchou, M Bourret; R Teulet, K Senio; G Lensing, R Terrain, F Staibano, R Capo Ortega, C Gaston (capt), L Tomiki, S Malonga, J Tekori
Replacements: A Giorgadze, C Hoeft, D Saayman, K Kulemin, C Masoe, S Kefu, P Bonnefond
Referee: James Jones (Wales)
"The fans could not be happier with the opposition and it adds an exciting element to a game that is shaping up as a thriller." Ben Kay previews the Premiership final showdown
"If there was a cross breed of canine called an Underdogdoodle it would win best in show at Crufts." Mark Durden-Smith looks at the Aviva Premiership Final
With the Lions' tour to Australia fast-approaching, ESPN's Austin Healey and Mark Durden-Smith sat down to share their memories of the 2001 trip Down Under
Ask John answers questions on the Leopards' tour to Italy in 1974, brotherly Test sides, Pat McGrath, England's games against the Barbarians and Jacques Brunel