Edinburgh ready for Munster clash at Murrayfield 182

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By Karrie Gillett

Edinburgh rugby head coach Andy Robinson has stressed that anything less than victory over  Munster in the team’s season opener  is vital in keeping the momentum going at the club.

Robinson said that losing to the European Champions on Friday at Murrayfield would make their pre-season friendly wins over London Wasps and Bath both seem pointless.

And Robinson said the mood in the Edinburgh squad was very positive with Chris Paterson making his first start since April last year.

But the head coach was adamant that his players must be ruthless against Munster to secure a win.

Robinson said: “It is important on the back of all our pre-season work that we win at the weekend.

“A loss this weekend would make the pre-season friendly results pointless. So it is important that the guys who do have the experience and the talent really deliver.

“We are now facing our biggest test of the year so far because we are facing Munster.

“We didn’t beat them last year and they play a tough brand of rugby. We need to be able to cope with the way they play as well as imposing our gameplan on them.”

Lock Craig Hamilton has been selected to start in the number four shirt alongside Ben Gissing, who missed the Bath match because his wife was giving birth to his son, James.

Meanwhile, Scotland internationalist Matt Mustchin switches from second row to blindside flanker because Robinson believes his line-out skills and size will benefit the pack.

He added: “The reason why we have decided to put Matt in the back row is to do with being able to deal with the new line-outs.

“We are looking to counter the threat that Munster have at the set-piece and it was important that we fielded our biggest pack.

“I was also very impressed with the way Craig Hamilton performed at Bath last week; he has really forced his way through into the team.”

In the back line, Chris Paterson makes his first start for Edinburgh since April 2007 and in doing so he is set to record his 150th appearance for the club.

Mike Blair captains the side at scrum half while Scotland A internationalist Calum MacRae continues at outside centre in the absence of Ben Cairns who is carrying a knee injury.

Cairns is joined in the treatment room by John Houston, Jim Hamilton, Ross Rennie, Matt Dey and club captain Simon Cross.

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