EDINBURGH head coach Richard Cockerill has made two changes to his side that will face reigning Guinness Pro14 champions Leinster on Friday evening.

Mesu Kunavula makes his first start for the club as he replaces Scotland internationalist Lewis Carmichael who drops out through injury while Jamie Hodgson comes into the second row to replace Fraser McKenzie, who is another injury victim.

Edinburgh have started the season in good form having won two matches from two in the Pro14 but attack coach Duncan Hodge is under no illusions as to the scale of the task facing his players at the RDS Arena.

“We’ll need to do everything well,” he said.

“They’re a good side. It will take a complete performance: set piece has got to be good, execution’s got to be good, we’ve got to defend well - they hold the ball for a long time and they’re a physical side. It’s going to need a step up from the last two weeks, but we’re aware of that and we’re looking forward to it.

“Even though they’re missing as many as us - we’re both missing a lot - they’ve got a huge strength in depth. Look at some of the names that are still there: Toner, Gibson-Park, and then you’ve got James Lowe, Tomane, Scott Fardy. You’ve got lots of quality players there.”

Hodge admits he is pleased with the consistency of the team selection so far this season and he has, he says, no doubts, that Kunavula and Hodgson will slot into the team seamlessly.

“They’re quite different players in terms of how they play,” said Hodge.

“Jamie has done incredibly well: he’s worked really hard to get where he is and he’s a quick learner - he’s really solid and dependable. We’ve got no issues with him at all.

“Mesu is slightly different - it has been a bit harder for him to pick things up, for obvious reasons. They contrast each other quite well. He brings that bit of X factor to ball-carrying: Jamie is probably more adept at his set-piece stuff. So, very different, but great to have them both involved.”