Edinburgh Rugby make 10 changes to their starting XV as the capital club host Glasgow Warriors at BT Murrayfield in the Guinness PRO14 this Friday (28 August, kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports
Head Coach Richard Cockerill rotates his squad following last week’s 15-30 win over the Warriors that saw Edinburgh secure a home Guinness PRO14 Semi-Final and lift the 1872 Cup for the third straight season.
Scotland internationalists Darcy Graham and Magnus Bradbury both start after returning from injury, while Simon Berghan and Nick Haining get the nod in the forward pack after featuring from the bench last weekend.
Summer signing Nathan Chamberlain makes his first start for the club at stand-off and is partnered at half-back by scrum-half Charlie Shiel – a try-scorer in last Saturday’s derby win.
Loosehead prop Pierre Schoeman and hooker Mike Willemse both come into the front-row, while lock Jamie Hodgson is named in the second-row.
The final alteration to the starting line-up sees James Johnstone selected in midfield, with the outside centre making his 50th appearance for the club.
Ahead of tomorrow night’s derby – which will be the first professional rugby fixture in the UK to host a crowd since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic – Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said:
“We’ve given some of our younger guys an opportunity. We’ve got a good squad with plenty of depth, so it’s a great chance to blood some new players and give them some experience playing in a derby match.
“We’re also looking after our squad and some of those key guys who are important to the way we play. We want as full and as fit a compliment of players as we can going into the Semi-Final.
“The team we’ve selected is definitely exciting and we want to keep momentum going, so we’re looking forward to facing Glasgow in another important fixture for this club.”
The inclusion of Graham on the wing is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back-three as Blair Kinghorn and Duhan van der Merwe keep their place in the starting XV.
Chris Dean – who is named as captain – continues at inside centre and is paired with the aforementioned Johntsone, while Chamberlain, 20, and Shiel, 22, form a youthful half-back combination for the capital side.
An all-new front-row sees Willemse pack down alongside props Schoeman and Berghan, while Hodgson and Haining link-up in the second-row.
Fijian international No. 8 Viliame Mata anchors a back-row that sees Bradbury and Hamish Watson named at blindside and openside flanker respectively.
Elsewhere, academy scrum-half Roan Frostwick and summer signings Marshall Sykes and Matt Gordon are all named among the replacements and will make their debut for the club if called upon.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face Glasgow Warriors at BT Murrayfield in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday 28 August (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports
- Blair Kinghorn (88)
- Darcy Graham (30)
- James Johnstone (49)
- Chris Dean (89) CAPTAIN
- Duhan van der Merwe (58)
- Nathan Chamberlain (1)
- Charlie Shiel (17)
- Pierre Schoeman (41)
- Mike Willemse (19)
- Simon Berghan (79)
- Nick Haining (12)
- Jamie Hodgson (7)
- Magnus Bradbury (75)
- Hamish Watson (108)
- Viliame Mata (72)
16. Stuart McInally (143) 17. Rory Sutherland (82) 18. WP Nel (140) 19. Marshall Sykes* 20. Luke Crosbie (40) 21. Roan Frostwick* 22. Jaco van der Walt (56) 23. Matt Gordon*
*Edinburgh Rugby competitive debut