Five changes for trip to Benetton

Five changes for trip to Benetton

​Edinburgh make five changes to their starting XV for tomorrow’s Conference B clash against Benetton at Stadio di Monigo (Saturday 2 November, kick-off 5.15pm GMT) – live on Premier Sports.

Scotland internationalists Jamie Bhatti, Lewis Carmichael, Magnus Bradbury and Damien Hoyland all start, while last season’s Golden Boot winner Jaco van der Walt returns at stand-off.

Fijian international back-row, Viliame Mata, is named among the replacements for the first time this season following the Rugby World Cup, as scrum-half Nic Groom returns to the bench after missing last weekend’s win over Scarlets due to the birth of his child.

Ahead of the fixture, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “We were really pleased with our all-round performance against Scarlets last weekend and the players come into this fixture with plenty of confidence and a bit of momentum.

“We continue to build and develop our playing style as a team and this weekend’s match will be another massive test. Benetton are a really combative outfit who are always strong at home.

“We make a number of changes to the starting line-up, but we have plenty of faith in the guys who come in and we possess more than enough quality across the board to come away from Treviso with a positive result.”

Scotland star Blair Kinghorn is once again named at fullback as wingers Eroni Sau – a try-scorer on his debut last weekend – and Hoyland get the nod on the flanks.

Centre Mark Bennett – who has five tries in the competition so far this season – continues in midfield alongside Matt Scott, while scrum-half Henry Pyrgos – who skippers the side – is paired with Van der Walt at half-back.

The inclusion of Bhatti at loosehead prop is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged front-row as hooker Mike Willemse – twice a try-scorer in the win over Scarlets – and Italian international Pietro Ceccarelli keep their place up-front.

Club centurion Fraser McKenzie is partnered in the second-row by Carmichael, with the Scotland lock once again fit after missing rounds three and four through injury.

No. 8, Bradbury – who makes his first start of the season - anchors a back-row that sees Ally Miller and Luke Crosbie named at blindside and openside flanker respectively.

Edinburgh Rugby team to face Benetton at Stadio di Monigo in the Guinness PRO14

Saturday 2 November (kick-off 5.15pm GMT) – live on Premier Sports

15. Blair Kinghorn (78)

14. Eroni Sau (1)

13. Mark Bennett (24)

12. Matt Scott (85)

11. Damien Hoyland (66)

10. Jaco van der Walt (43)

9. Henry Pyrgos (25) CAPTAIN

1. Jamie Bhatti (4)

2. Mike Willemse (4)

3. Pietro Ceccarelli (14)

4. Fraser McKenzie (116)

5. Lewis Carmichael (35)

6. Ally Miller (12)

7. Luke Crosbie (30)

8. Magnus Bradbury (66)

Replacements: 16. David Cherry (17) 17. Pierre Schoeman (27) 18. Murray McCallum (53) 19. Sam Thomson (2) 20. Viliame Mata (60) 21. Nic Groom (3) 22. Simon Hickey (22) 23. George Taylor (8)

Players unavailable due to injury: Murray Douglas, Charlie Shiel, Nick Haining, Darryl Marfo, Hamish Watson, Chris Dean, Ruan Steenkamp

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