Edinburgh side named for Ospreys trip
Head Coach Mike Blair today named the Edinburgh Rugby squad for tomorrow’s United Rugby Championship Round 11 match against Ospreys at Swansea.com Stadium (Saturday 29 January, kick-off 5.15pm) – live on Premier Sports.
The team selection includes nine changes to that which claimed a 66-3 EPCR Challenge Cup victory against Brive last weekend, as the capital club welcomes a number of internationalists back into the starting XV: Jaco van der Walt (stand-off), Henry Pyrgos (scrum-half), Dave Cherry (hooker), Marshall Sykes (lock) and Magnus Bradbury (back-row).
The remaining alterations are split evenly between the backline and forwards as young centre Matt Currie – named vice-captain for the first time – and full-back Henry Immelman both start, while loosehead Boan Venter and openside flanker Connor Boyle return to the capital pack.
Elsewhere, wing Darcy Graham – who once again starts on the wing – Jamie Hodgson, Ben Vellacott and Mark Bennett are all selected in the matchday 23 after being released from Scotland’s Six Nations training camp to take a place on the bench.
Ahead of a return to URC action, Head Coach Mike Blair said: “It’s great to head into this game off the back of a really encouraging win against Brive, where we did a lot of positive things in both attack and defence, however as a group we know that Ospreys will be a far tougher challenge, especially away from home.
“The Ospreys squad is filled with both experienced internationalists and exciting up-and-coming talent, while they’ll be looking for a reaction following a couple of tough losses in Europe.
“There is lot of competition for places in the squad where guys are constantly putting their hand up in training, so we’re excited to make a few changes to the line-up. A number of players have been given their opportunity in what is another massive league fixture for us.”
The inclusion of Immelman at full-back is the only change to the back-three as Argentine international Emiliano Boffelli – who switches to the wing – and Graham are selected on opposite flanks.
Academy graduates Currie and Cammy Hutchison are paired in midfield, while Van der Walt and captain Pyrgos form an experienced half-back pairing.
Up front, hooker Cherry packs down alongside props Venter and tighthead Angus Williams, as locks Glen Young – who grabbed a brace of tries against Brive – and Sykes complete the tight five.
Fijian internationalist Mesu Kunavula – who this week penned a new deal with the club – retains the number 8 jersey, alongside Bradbury and Boyle.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face Ospreys at Swansea.com Stadium in Round 11 of the United Rugby Championship
Saturday 29 January, kick off 5.15pm – live on Premier Sports
15. Henry Immelman (8)
14. Darcy Graham (45)
13. Matt Currie (6) VICE-CAPTAIN
12. Cammy Hutchison (8)
11. Emiliano Boffelli (6)
10. Jaco van der Walt (77)
9. Henry Pyrgos (58) CAPTAIN
1. Boan Venter (17)
2. Dave Cherry (46) VICE CAPTAIN
3. Angus Williams (7)
4. Marshall Sykes (15)
5. Glen Young (2)
6. Magnus Bradbury (103)
7. Connor Boyle (12)
8. Mesulame Kunavula (16)
16. Adam McBurney (2)
17. Harrison Courtney (2)
18. Lee-Roy Atalifo (16)
19. Jamie Hodgson (32)
20. Ben Muncaster (4)
21. Ben Vellacott (10)
22. Charlie Savala (7)
23. Mark Bennett (61)
Unavailable: Luan de Bruin, Luke Crosbie, Nick Haining, Damien Hoyland, James Lang, Viliame Mata, Ramiro Moyano, Ben Toolis