With Edinburgh Rugby deadlocked alongside Bordeaux-Begles at the top of Pool 3 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, there is welcome news for the Scottish side ahead of the back-to-back matches next weekend and the weekend afterwards.

Scotland hooker Stuart McInally and back-row forward Hamish Watson return to Edinburgh’s starting line-up for Friday night’s Guinness PRO14 clash against Munster Rugby at Irish Independent Park.

Both play their first games of the season for the capital side, with Watson fit again following an injury sustained against Ireland in the opening match of the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

On December 6 Edinburgh entertain Wasps in the Challenge Cup at BT Murrayfield and then travel to the Ricoh Arena eight days later.

Another Rugby World Cup player making his first appearance of the campaign on Friday night is Tongan second row Sam Lousi, who is handed his Scarlets debut in in their Guinness PRO14 game against Ulster Rugby at the Kingspan Stadium.

Signed from Super Rugby side the Hurricanes, the 6ft 6in Lousi adds further strength to the Scarlets’ second rows and they will need it to emerge from a tough Pool 2, where they are placed third, with successive ties against Bayonne as their next two matches.

Meanwhile in the Gallagher Premiership, England wing Jonny May makes his first appearance since the Rugby World Cup final in Leicester Tigers’ Midlands derby at Northampton Saints on Saturday.

He joins international colleagues Dan Cole, Ellis Genge, Ben Youngs, George Ford and Manu Tuilagi in a Leicester line-up still buoyant after their last-gasp 14-11 win at Cardiff last weekend which lifted them to the head of Pool 5 in the Challenge Cup.