Edinburgh captain Roddy Grant has been rested for the Magners League encounter against Ulster at Murrayfield.
Chris Paterson will skipper the side tomorrow night after Edinburgh head coach Rob Moffat decided to keep flanker Grant fresh following last weekend’s narrow and intense Heineken Cup defeat by Northampton.
Ross Ford has also been rested with the pair not even on the bench for the visit of Ulster, who beat Edinburgh 29-21 last month.
Ross Rennie, fresh from his call-up to the Scotland squad, replaces Grant after recovering from a head knock while Andrew Kelly also joins the forward ranks. Netani Talei moves from flanker to the number eight position.
Moffat said: “Both Ross [Ford] and Roddy have played their part in a number of really tough battles in the last few weeks, and even though they’re the sort of guys who want to be out there week in, week out, it’s my job to manage the squad and make sure we spread the load.
“Ned [Kelly] has done well when he’s come off the bench this season, and he’s been pushing hard for a place in the team.
“He’s got a chance now to remind everyone of what he can do, and I’m looking forward to seeing him take it.
“Ross [Rennie] wasn’t quite ready last Saturday, but he’s trained well this week and is raring to go. He’s just the type of player you want on your side against a team like Ulster. We’ll all be up for the battle.”
Moffat is looking for a repeat of the attacking performance his players produced in their 31-27 defeat by Saints, during which they scored three tries.
Moffat, whose team are seeking their third consecutive Magners League victory, said: “There was a lot to be pleased about in our display last Saturday, but we said all along that getting the win was what counted above all else.
“The challenge this week is pretty clear – keep performing positively, keep trying to hurt the opposition, and make sure we maintain that edge from first to last.
“We lost a bit of momentum in the second half last week, and Ulster are the sort of team who will capitalise on any drop-off in our performance.
“The boys know we’ll need to be sharp all night on Friday, and after the Leinster and Aironi wins, they’re keen to keep that sequence going.”