Edinburgh welcome defending champions Munster to Hive stadium tonight knowing they need to take something from the game to keep their play-off hopes alive. 

The club will also bid farewell to WP Nel after 12 years in the capital as he prepares to hang up his boots at the season's end. 

Bill Mata will also play what's likely to be his last home game for the club before joining Bristol.

READ MORE: Why departing Edinburgh duo rank among best signings ever

Here is everything you need to know ahead of a huge game. 

Edinburgh are targeting a 12th win in the URC during 2023/24. This is the ninth time in 24 league campaigns they have managed 10 or more victories during the regular season:

  • 2017/18 – 15 wins (21-game regular season)
  • 2019/20 – 11 wins (15)
  • 2023/24 – 11 wins (16 – ongoing)
  • 2008/09 – 11 wins (18)
  • 2005/06 – 11 wins (20)
  • 2015/16 – 11 wins (22)
  • 2021/22 – 10 wins (18)
  • 2018/19 – 10 wins (21)
  • 2014/15 – 10 wins (22)
  • Munster haven’t lost a URC fixture outside Ireland since a shock 23-27 defeat to the Dragons back in September 2022.

URC Race to the Eight – Remaining Fixtures

5. Stormers (50 points) Connacht (9th); LIONS (10th)

6. Ulster (49 points) LEINSTER (2nd); Munster (3rd)

7. Edinburgh (48 points) MUNSTER (3rd); Benetton (8th)

8. Benetton (48 points) Bulls (4th); EDINBURGH (7th)

9. Connacht (44 points) STORMERS (5th); Leinster (2nd)

10. Lions (44 points) GLASGOW (1st); Stormers (5th)

11. Ospreys (40 points) DRAGONS (15th); Cardiff (13th)

Home fixtures in capitals

Play-off update

Edinburgh’s lack of bonus points has hindered their progress up the URC table but it will provide one benefit that could become very tangible as the contest for play-off places reaches its conclusion.

In the event of teams being tied on points the first tiebreaker will be the number of wins collected. That almost certainly means advantage Edinburgh in a direct head-to-head with most of the other sides around them in the league.

That could end up being vital in setting the capital club apart. For some of the other teams their progress into the post-season – and qualification or otherwise for the Champions Cup – could come down to how many points they can rack up (or avoid conceding) in their closing fixtures.

Ospreys in particular may have the benefit of knowing exactly what score they require when they kick off the final Round 18 match against Cardiff.

For Edinburgh, two wins would put them in the playoffs and secure Champions Cup rugby next season. One more victory could well still be enough given the challenging fixtures some of their competition faces.

It’s even possible they might make it with just some bonus points collected but this would be entering seriously squeaky bum territory and a lot of finger crossing during other teams’ matches!

URC form

Scotland Rugby News:

Track record…

…at home to Munster in the PRO12/PRO14/URC era:

  • Two wins
  • Eight losses
  • Zero Try bonus points
  • Four Losing bonus points
  • Twelve points out of a possible 50 (24%)

Previous match-up vs Munster at home

Munster Away From Home

Edinburgh have the misfortune to take on Munster during the second half of the season, a phase of the campaign where the Irish side’s away form makes them an entirely different prospect from the early rounds of the league.

Munster away in the URC era – Rounds one to nine

Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 12 27% of match points collected

Munster away in the URC era – Rounds 10 to 18 plus playoffs:

Won 12, Drawn 1, Lost 2 82% of match points collected

This is a tough assignment for the capital club, especially when Munster’s record in Edinburgh is taken into account:


Just four wins from 20 attempts this century illustrate what a significant result this would be if Edinburgh can continue their current solid home form.

Sean Everitt’s side have already knocked over two of the URC’s top four this season, winning 31-23 against the Bulls and 19-14 versus Glasgow.

If they can make this a treble on Friday night it will send them into the playoffs on a real high – and with a more than decent chance of a rematch with Munster, although this time on the other side of the Irish Sea.

The officials

Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (FIR, 32nd league game) Assistants: Ru Campbell and Finlay Brown (both SRU) TMO: Stu Terheege (RFU)

Gianluca Gnecchi’s regular season record for 2023/24:

  • Matches – 12
  • Average penalty count – 19.2 per game
  • Home side penalties conceded percentage – 46.5%
  • Average card count – 1.2 per game
  • Penalties per card – 16.4

This will be the sixth time that Gnecchi has taken charge of an Edinburgh game in the last three seasons. The capital club have won the penalty count on each of those five previous occasions – a streak they will be keen to continue against Munster.

As the team with the most yellow cards in the URC (12), Edinburgh will be warily eyeing the six sin binnings that home sides have suffered in the Italian referee's last three games.

Munster are not the kind of team who will miss out on any chance to press home an advantage, so the hosts will need to improve their propensity to pick up cards when it comes to Friday evening’s fixture at Hive Stadium.