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Nine head for Edinburgh exit as Low covets winning departure

Alan Solomons, the Edinburgh head coach under considerable pressure following a dismal campaign in the RaboDirect PRO12, has ditched no fewer than nine players, it was revealed last night.

A significant clear out was expected after a season in which the gulf between his charges and Gregor Townsend's high-flying Glasgow Warriors has grown, but it has been greater than anticipated.

Three Test players are among those being offloaded when their contracts run out: Scotland's Lee Jones, Ben Atiga of New Zealand and the Georgia forward Dimitri Basilaia. Jones is presently on loan to Warriors, but it is not known if he will remain on the books at Scotstoun. The others are the scrum-half duo of Chris Leck and Alex Black, locks Perry Parker and Robert McAlpine and front-row men Lewis Niven and Alun Walker.

Across the country, Moray Low spoke of his determination to leave Glasgow Warriors with a PRO12 championship medal in his pocket. The prop will leave the Scotstoun side to join Exeter Chiefs at the end of the season but he is determined to help make Friday's semi-final his second last appearance.

Low was one of the stand-outs in the 54-0 demolition of Zebre that secured a home game against Munster and his focus is on going all the way as Townsend's men bid to be the first Scottish side to win a major rugby trophy.

"I have massive ambition to be involved against Munster this weekend," said Low. "I was grateful to be in the side for Zebre and there is huge competition for places, but I want more. Every position is up for grabs. The players have done their bit, now it is up to the coaches to make the big decisions, but it is a great problem for them to have.

"This could be my last chance to play on home turf for Glasgow, so I definitely want to be there. I started off all these years ago when we were based at Hughenden and look where we are now? To be staging a semi-final is brilliant for Glasgow, and for Scottish rugby as a whole.

"I have played in three semis and lost them all, so that is another incentive, especially to be able to go out there at a sold-out Scotstoun.

"I have loved playing for Glasgow ever since Sean Lineen gave me that opportunity and it has been fantastic to see how the squad have developed. I really want to do my bit before leaving and make it the happiest possible ending."

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