Bradley banking on returning stars

Edinburgh will look to give Scottish rugby a timely boost when they entertain Heineken Cup opponents Racing Metro tonight.

The Pool One encounter at Murrayfield gives Edinburgh an opportunity to avenge last weekend’s 19-9 defeat in Paris.

Edinburgh and Glasgow have lost six games between them in Europe this season, while Edinburgh have yet to score a try, and it is less than a month since the national team were beaten at home by Tonga, which prompted Andy Robinson’s resignation as head coach.

Racing will go top of the group if they win, although that would be short-lived with main quarter-final contenders Saracens and Munster meeting in Watford on Sunday.

Edinburgh coach Michael Bradley has made eight changes, including a return for fit-again centre Ben Cairns, who has not played since suffering a knee injury 15 months ago.

Cairns’ fellow centre Ben Atiga is also back from injury, along with Fijian back-row forward Netani Talei and Georgian number eight Dimitri Basilaia, who is on the bench.

“We are delighted to welcome the timely return of these four players from injury, all of whom have the potential to make a significant contribution to our Heineken Cup and RaboDirect PRO12 campaigns at a crucial period in the season,” Bradley said.

“It’s important that they get up to speed as quickly as possible and put pressure on their peers for a place in the playing squad in some massive games coming up in the next two months.

“All of these players are straining at the leash, are desperate to get a win for Edinburgh and to put in a performance worthy of re-selection.”

Racing include former Bath fly-half Olly Barkley in their starting XV against last season’s Heineken Cup semi-finalists, with a powerful replacements’ bench featuring JuanMartin Hernandez and Fabrice Estebanez.

*Jason Robinson has led the tributes to former Sale Sharks player David Tait following his death at the age of 25.

Tait is understood to have fallen from an apartment block in Hong Kong.

Tait, a back-row forward, spent five years with Sale, who signed him as a teenager.

He went on to become a member of the England U20 squad before switching rugby allegiance to Scotland, and was rated as an exciting playing talent.

AMLIN Challenge Cup, Pool: 5 Stade Francais 29 Cavalieri Prato 6; Pool 3: Wasps 30 Bayonne 16


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