Bradbury returns for Dragons encounter
Scotland international back-row Magnus Bradbury returns from injury to feature for the first time in four months as Edinburgh face Dragons at BT Murrayfield in the Guinness PRO14 tomorrow evening (Friday 15 February, kick-off 7.35pm).
The four-times capped back-row is one of eight internationalists named in the starting XV as recent Scotland call-ups Darcy Graham, Chris Dean, Ben Toolis and Luke Crosbie are all released for the Guinness PRO14 encounter.
Henry Pyrgos captains the side which also sees winger and top try-scorer Duhan van der Merwe return to action after missing the match against Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth last month.
Ahead of the fixture, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “The next block of matches are pivotal for us and we can’t afford to slip up. Everyone is extremely close at the top of Conference B, so we know the importance of this group of fixtures.
“It starts against Dragons tomorrow night. They are a tough, competitive side with plenty of attacking threats across the park. We’re determined to get back to winning ways and we’ll have to be at our best for the full 80 minutes tomorrow evening.”
Wing pairing Graham and Van der Merwe – who have scored 70 points between them so far this season – are joined in the back-three by capped fullback, Dougie Fife.
Recent Scotland call-up Dean is partnered in midfield by James Johnstone, who returns to outside centre after featuring on the wing against Southern Kings three-weeks ago.
South African stand-off Jaco van der Walt once again links-up with experienced scrum-half Henry Pyrgos at half-back.
The inclusion of Ross Ford – who makes his 200th Guinness PRO14 appearance – is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged front-row as the hooker packs down alongside Pierre Schoeman and Italian international, Pietro Ceccarelli.
Lock, Toolis – who featured in Scotland’s opening Guinness Six Nations win over Italy two-weeks ago – partners Fraser McKenzie in the second-row, whilst returning blindside flanker Bradbury is named in the back-row alongside Crosbie and Fijian international No.8, Viliame Mata.
Edinburgh team to face Dragons at BT Murrayfield in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday 15 February (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports 2
15. Dougie Fife (120)
14. Darcy Graham (18)
13. James Johnstone (35)
12. Chris Dean (81)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (34)
10. Jaco van der Walt (32)
9. Henry Pyrgos (17) CAPTAIN
1. Pierre Schoeman (15)
2. Ross Ford (191)
3. Pietro Ceccarelli (7)
4. Fraser McKenzie (109)
5. Ben Toolis (103)
6. Magnus Bradbury (59)
7. Luke Crosbie (23)
8. Viliame Mata (53)
Replacements: 16. David Cherry (13); 17. Rory Sutherland (71); 18. Murray McCallum (47); 19. Callum Hunter-Hill (12); 20. Ally Miller (5); 21. Nathan Fowles (69); 22. Simon Hickey (15) 23. Juan Pablo Socino (14)
Unavailable due to injury: WP Nel; Lewis Carmichael; John Barclay; Senitiki Nayalo; Hamish Watson; Luke Hamilton; Matt Scott; Mark Bennett; Damien Hoyland
Unavailable due to international selection: Allan Dell; Simon Berghan; Stuart McInally; Grant Gilchrist; Jamie Ritchie; Blair Kinghorn