NEWS | Six Scots return for Southern Kings showdown

Head coach Richard Cockerill has welcomed back six members of Scotland’s successful Autumn Tests squad for tomorrow night’s Guinness PRO14 encounter with the Southern Kings at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth (Friday 1 December, kick-off 7.15pm local time / 5.15pm GMT).

In the backs, Phil Burleigh returns to partner James Johnstone in the centre after making his international debut off the bench in last Saturday’s record 53-24 win over Australia at BT Murrayfield.

In the pack, Simon Berghan links up with hooker Neil Cochrane and fellow international prop Rory Sutherland who makes his first start of the season at loosehead.

In the second-row, Grant Gilchrist also returns from Scotland duty having come on as a replacement against the All Blacks and starting in the eight-try rout of Australia. He partners club captain Fraser Mckenzie.

Fijian international Viliame Mata keeps his place in the back-row and is joined by the experienced duo of Jamie Ritchie and Cornell du Preez, both of whom joined the squad in South Africa following their contribution to Scotland’s Autumn Test campaign.

On his team selection, Richard Cockerill said: “I’m delighted to have some of the Scotland guys come out and add to the squad. There’s obviously a good vibe around what they’ve achieved over the last few weeks, so you’d like to think that will have a ripple effect on what they do now they’re back with us.

"The Kings are a dangerous team. They have a lot of pace in their back three, are very lively at fly half, and as you would imagine, have a big forward pack. We’ve worked hard again this week and are going into the game with a positive mindset around how we’re going to play.

"These points are going to be important when the season comes around to qualifying for Europe or trying to push for a top-three spot if we can. We won’t be taking the Kings lightly however. They pushed Ulster and Scarlets all the way in their last few games so we’ve got to get things right on Friday night."

 

 Edinburgh team to face Southern Kings in the Guinness PRO14 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday 1 December (kick-off 7.15pm local time / 5.15pm GMT)

 

15. Blair Kinghorn (52)

 

14. Dougie Fife (92)

13. James Johnstone (9)

12. Phil Burleigh (65)

11. Duhan van der Merwe (1)

 

10. Jaco van der Walt (1)

9. Nathan Fowles (43)

 

1. Rory Sutherland (52)

2. Neil Cochrane (60)

3. Simon Berghan (40)

4. Fraser McKenzie (89) CAPTAIN

5. Grant Gilchrist (107)

6. Viliame Mata (21)

7. Jamie Ritchie (37)

8. Cornell du Preez (90)

 

Replacements: 16 Cameron Fenton (2), 17 Michele Rizzo (7), 18 Murray McCallum (25), 19 Ben Toolis (76), 20 Luke Crosbie (6), 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (93), 22 Chris Dean (51), 23 Glenn Bryce (29