Edinburgh opt for youth in Rainbow Cup opener

Edinburgh opt for youth in Rainbow Cup opener

​Head Coach Richard Cockerill today named a young Edinburgh Rugby side to face Zebre in tomorrow’s Rainbow Cup opener at BT Murrayfield Stadium (Friday 23 April, kick-off 8.15pm) – live on Premier Sports.

With an average age of 24.5, the match-day squad features 10 Scottish-qualified players aged 23 or under, six of whom start the match.

FOSROC Academy back-row Ben Muncaster, 19, will make his debut for the club at number 8, with Jamie Hodgson, 23, and Marshall Sykes, 21, combining in the second-row.

Academy centre Matt Currie, 20, also earns a first start with half backs Charlie Shiel, 23, and Nathan Chamberlain, 21, combining to complete the U23 starters.

Back-row Luke Crosbie (24 today) will captain the side, with full-back Blair Kinghorn and centre George Taylor (also 24) returning to start. Wings Damien Hoyland and Eroni Sau complete the back division.

Finishing the pack are front-row forwards Boan Venter, Mike Willemse (hooker) and Lee-Roy Atalifo, with Mesu Kunavula named in the loose forwards with Crosbie and Muncaster.

Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach, Richard Cockerill, said: “The Rainbow Cup presents us with a great opportunity to get some quality game into some of the many promising young players being developed at the club.

“These guys have worked hard on the pitch and in the gym all season long and have earned the right to put themselves out there, show what they’re about and make a case for more game time in this campaign and beyond.

“The team has some experience around it too, which should count for a lot in helping them develop into the game against a good Zebre side.”

Youngsters listed on the bench include FOSROC Academy pair Patrick Harrison (18, hooker), and Roan Frostwick (20, scrum-half) plus recently-resigned back-row Connor Boyle, 21, and wing / full-back Jack Blain, 21.

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Zebre at BT Murrayfield, Rainbow Cup Rd1
Friday 23 April (kick-off 8.15pm) – live on Premier Sports

15. Blair Kinghorn (98)

14. Damien Hoyland (82)
13. Matt Currie (2)
12. George Taylor (33)
11. Eroni Sau (22)

10.Nathan Chamberlain (7)
9. Charlie Shiel (32)

1. Boan Venter (4)
2. Mike Willemse (36)
3. Lee-Roy Atalifo (8)
4. Marshall Sykes (3)
5. Jamie Hodgson (19)
6. Mesu Kunavula (8)
7. Luke Crosbie CAPTAIN (54)
8. Ben Muncaster (0)

16. Patrick Harrison (1)
17. Pierre Schoeman (60)
18. WP Nel (152)
19. Viliame Mata (86)
20. Connor Boyle (4)
21. Roan Frostwick (1)
22. Jack Blain (12)
23. Chris Dean (106)

Unavailable through injury (16): Magnus Bradbury, Simon Berghan, Lewis Carmichael, Andrew Davidson, Andries Ferreira, Dan Gamble, Darcy Graham, Sam Grahamslaw, Nick Haining, Cameron Hutchison, Stuart McInally, Charlie Savala, Rory Sutherland, Ben Toolis, Jaco van der Walt, Hamish Watson.

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