Bradbury to make 100th appearance in club appreciation night clash
Magnus Bradbury makes his 100th Edinburgh Rugby appearance tomorrow night as the capital club host Benetton at DAM Health Stadium in Round 7 of the United Rugby Championship (Friday 3 December, kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports
As Edinburgh Rugby celebrate ‘club appreciation night’ – which will see the squad pull on the socks of their boyhood clubs to recognise the importance of the wider grassroots game – Bradbury will represent his hometown team, Oban Lorne, while reaching the landmark appearance seven years on from making his professional debut at the age of 19.
The 14-times capped Scotland international becomes Edinburgh Rugby’s 36th club centurion and joins former capital back-row greats Simon Taylor, Ally Hogg and Roddy Grant in reaching the historic milestone.
As Mike Blair’s team look to record a fourth-straight URC victory – and remain unbeaten at DAM Health Stadium – the capital side welcome back internationalists Darcy Graham, Grant Gilchrist, Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata, Stuart McInally, Pierre Schoeman and Jamie Ritchie to the matchday squad, with Watson making his first Edinburgh appearance since becoming a British & Irish Lion.
Ahead of the fixture, Blair, said: “We’re firstly delighted to see Magnus reach this landmark appearance, and for him to do it at home, in front of his friends and family, while representing his boyhood team Oban, is pretty special. I know the guys will want to make it a special occasion for Magnus with a good team performance.
“We were really pleased with last week’s overall performance and that intent, energy and physicality has carried into training this week. We’ve talked a lot about the way we want to play, but you can’t do that unless you’re physical and show intent, and we want to maintain that level of performance this Friday night.
“Benetton are a team we know well having faced them in both pre-season and in Round 2. They play with passion and physicality – two attributes we’ll need to match them on for the full 80 minutes.”
The return of Graham on the wing is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back-three as full-back Emiliano Boffelli – who makes his first home appearance following a try-scoring debut last weekend – and Damien Hoyland – also a try-scorer against Dragons – retain their place in the starting line-up.
An unchanged centre combination sees James Lang and Matt Currie link-up in midfield, as scrum-half Ben Vellacott and stand-off Blair Kinghorn continue at half-back.
Scotland cap Dave Cherry gets the nod at hooker and packs down alongside an unchanged prop pairing of Boan Venter and WP Nel, while Gilchrist returns at lock to partner Jamie Hodgson in the second-row.
Fijian star Mata anchors a back-row that sees Watson return at openside flanker, with Edinburgh’s newest centurion and blindside flanker Bradbury completing the pack.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face Benetton at DAM Health Stadium in Round 7 of the United Rugby Championship
Friday 3 December (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports
Selected club socks listed below
15. Emiliano Boffelli (1) - Corstorphine Cougars
14. Darcy Graham (43) – Hawick RFC
13. Matt Currie (4) – Merchiston Castle
12. James Lang (5) – Edinburgh Accies
11. Damien Hoyland (89) – Boroughmuir / Melrose
10. Blair Kinghorn (105) – Edinburgh Accies
9. Ben Vellacott (6) – Lasswade RFC
1. Boan Venter (13) – Broughton RFC
2. Dave Cherry (42) – Edinburgh Accies/ Currie VICE-CAPTAIN
3. WP Nel (161) - Watsonians
4. Jamie Hodgson (28) – Stewart’s Melville College / Watsonians
5. Grant Gilchrist (163) – Alloa RFC CAPTAIN
6. Magnus Bradbury (99) – Oban Lorne
7. Hamish Watson (120) – Edinburgh Accies
8. Viliame Mata (94) – Broughton RFC
16. Stuart McInally (157) - Watsonians
17. Pierre Schoeman (70) – Edinburgh Accies
18. Lee-Roy Atalifo (13) – Redford Barracks
19. Marshall Sykes (12) – Woodbridge Rugby Club / Ayrshire Bulls
20. Jamie Ritchie (81) - Madras
21. Henry Pyrgos (55) – Leith Rugby
22. Charlie Savala (70) – Ayr RFC
23. Mark Bennett (57) – Cumnock RFC
Unavailable due to injury: Luan de Bruin, Luke Crosbie, Henry Immelman, Mesulame Kunavula, Pierce Phillips, George Taylor, Ben Toolis, Jaco van der Walt, Glen Young