Edinburgh name side for glamour Newcastle friendly in Hawick

Nikki Walker (Edinburgh Rugby) and Scott MacLeod (Newcastle Falcons) at Mansfield Park with Vice President Ross Cameron.
Nikki Walker (Edinburgh Rugby) and Scott MacLeod (Newcastle Falcons) at Mansfield Park with Vice President Ross Cameron.

Borderers Lee Jones and Greig Laidlaw will start in Edinburgh’s final pre-season match against Newcastle Falcons at Hawick tomorrow night.

Selkirk’s Jones starts on the wing while Laidlaw plays at scrum half.

Kelso’s Ross Ford and Roddy Grant, formerly of Gala, are in the pack as Edinburgh’s new head coach Alan Solomons opts for experience, with Geoff Cross also on the bench.

Hawick’s own Nikki Walker misses the match with a shoulder injury, while fellow Teri Scott MacLeod is expected to feature for Newcastle.

Solomons said: “At this early point in the season it’s important that we get some form of consistency in our selection.

“The players are fully aware of what we’re looking for in terms of the way that we play.

“We have to back up an encouraging opening 60 to 65 minutes against Northampton, that’s critical for us.

“Our set piece is very important and we are looking for a solid defensive effort.”

The Falcons’ arrival will be a homecoming for a number of Scotland caps and former Edinburgh players, with new signings Mike Blair and Phil Godman joining Ally Hogg ahead of the Mansfield Park clash.

The Hawick club won the right to host the match back in July, with Edinburgh seeking to reach out to the rugby regions it represents.

Solomons added: “The Borders as very much part of us. It’s great to be playing there and we want to deliver a good performance for our supporters.

“I think that, if we are able to back up those first three quarters of the Northampton game, then we’ll do just that.”

Kick off tomorrow is 7.45pm and admission is £10 adults, £5 concessions and under 14s are free.

Edinburgh: G. Tonks, J. Cuthbert, D. Fife, N. De Luca, L. Jones, P. Francis, G. Laidlaw; A. Dickinson, R. Ford, WP Nel, G. Gilchrist, I. van der Westuizen, S. Cox, R. Grant, D. Denton.

Subs: A. Lutui; L. Niven, G. Cross, O. Atkins, H. Watson, S. Kennedy, S. Hidalgo-Clyne, T. Brown, D. Basilaia.