Katoa wings in for Romania pre-season friendly

A team of 28, captained by flanker Roddy Grant, has been announced for Edinburgh Rugby’s opening pre-season friendly against Romania at the Greenyards tomorrow (Friday 21 August, kick-off 6.30pm).

Bolstering the backs for this season, Edinburgh Rugby announce the signing of winger Otulea Katoa on a one-year deal.

The Tongan international, who arrived in the capital earlier this week with his wife and one-year-old son Eli, will bulk up the backs with a number of players involved with Scotland throughout the year.

The 24-year-old, who has been capped seven times by Tonga, most recently represented his country in July’s Pacific Nations Cup and has been signed from New Zealand provincial side, Rugby Southland.

He said: “I’m looking forward to playing for the club and making Edinburgh my home – I love the history and the culture of the city.

“It’s a great playing environment and I want to bring my very best to the team.”

Melrose-born Grant Shiells starts at loosehead with Neil Cochrane at hooker and John Andress at tighthead. Locks Anton Bresler and Fraser McKenzie are joined in the pack by Scotland under-20 captain Jamie Ritchie on the blindside, captain Roddy Grant at openside and Cornell Du Preez in the number 8 jersey.

Nick McLennan takes the full-back berth with Jamie Farndale and Tom Brown on the right and left wings respectively. The centre pairing of Chris Dean at 13 and Andries Strauss at 12, with Phil Burleigh at stand-off and Nathan Fowles at scrum half completes the backs.

A bigger bench than normal will be required at the Greenyards as the capital club take the opportunity to give a number of players game time.

In the forwards, James Hilterbrand, George Turner, Jack Cosgrove, Simon Berghan, Alex Toolis and Magnus Bradbury will be looking to make their mark, this match a first time in the Edinburgh colours for Scotland age-grade prop Cosgrove. Prop Allan Dell, who is part of the extended Scotland squad, is also available to play in the match.

Meanwhile new signing, scrum half Murdo McAndrew, will join Jade Te Rure, Sam Beard, James Johnstone, Otulea Katoa and Jack Cuthbert in the back replacements. Johnstone, along with a number of Scotland 7s team mates and local club players, took part in Edinburgh’s pre-season training during July and August.

 Tickets for the match are priced at £12 for adults (£15 on match day), £8 (£10 on match day) for senior citizens and £5 for under-18s, and can be obtained online or from Melrose RFC. Please note this match is not included in this year’s Season Ticket.

Edinburgh Rugby v Romania, Greenyards, Melrose, Friday 21 August, kick-off 6.30pm

15 Nick McLennan
14 Jamie Farndale
13 Chris Dean
12 Andries Strauss
11 Tom Brown
10 Phil Burleigh
9 Nathan Fowles

1 Grant Shiells
2 Neil Cochrane
3 John Andress
4 Anton Bresler
5 Fraser McKenzie
6 Jamie Ritchie
7 Roddy Grant (c)
8 Cornell Du Preez

Replacements
16 James Hilterbrand
17 George Turner
18 Jack Cosgrove / Allan Dell
19 Simon Berghan
20 Alex Toolis
21 Magnus Bradbury
22 Murdo McAndrew
23 Jade Te Rure
24 Sam Beard
25 James Johnstone
26 Otulea Katoa
27 Jack Cuthbert

Coming soon

It’s back to the Burgh next Friday (28 August) as Edinburgh play Ulster at Goldenacre, home of Heriots RC (k/o 6.30pm). Tickets for the match are priced at £12 for adults (£15 on match day), £8 (£10 on match day) for senior citizens and £5 for under-18s, and can be obtained online. This match IS included in this year’s Season Ticket, and holders will have their Season Ticket in time for this match.

Our Season Ticket prices have been frozen for 2015/16. Adult prices start from only £180, saving £100 off the equivalent match day and include all eleven home Guinness PRO12 matches, three European pool matches and the pre-season game against Ulster. 

Season Tickets and tickets for the pre-season matches can be purchased online, by phone on 0131 346 5180 or in person at the Ticket Centre on Roseburn Street.