Graham returns for Wasps clash

Graham returns for Wasps clash

Scotland star Darcy Graham returns from injury to make his first appearance of the season as Edinburgh Rugby make seven changes for tomorrow night’s Challenge Cup match against Wasps at BT Murrayfield (Friday 6 December, kick-off 7.35pm).

Graham – who makes his first start for the club since April in the place of injured Eroni Sau – is named in a reshuffled backline which sees centres George Taylor and James Johnstone get the nod in midfield, with Simon Hickey selected at stand-off.

In the pack, Jamie Ritchie and Nick Haining return from injury and suspension respectively to start in the back-row as Scotland international Simon Berghan is named at tighthead prop.

Ahead of the match, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “It’s going to be a great battle. Wasps are a good team, but we know that if we put our best game on the field, we’ll more than compete with them.

"However, if we’re sloppy and inaccurate then they will punish us. They’ve got an All Black in the centre, they’ve got an All Black at 10 and they’ve got Jimmy Gopperth, a former All Black playing at 12 - so they’ve got some real quality there.

“We will need to be on it, but we’re excited to get back in front of our home support at BT Murrayfield.”

The inclusion of Graham on the wing is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back-three as Kinghorn – a try-scorer in each of his last two home games – and Duhan van der Merwe retain their places in the starting XV.

An all-new centre pairing sees Taylor – selected in the place of the injured Matt Scott – and Johnstone rotate into midfield, with scrum-half Henry Pyrgos and stand-off Hickey named at half-back.

Scotland hooker Stuart McInally returns as captain and packs down alongside props Pierre Schoeman – who this week signed a new long-term deal with the club – and Berghan in the front row.

Club centurions Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis once again form an experienced second-row pairing, as a back-row trio of Ritchie, Hamish Watson and Haining complete the pack.

Elsewhere, Scrum-half Nic Groom – named among the replacements - is once again fit and in involved will make his first appearance in over a month.

Edinburgh Rugby team to face Wasps in the Challenge Cup

BT Murrayfield on Friday 6 December (kick-off 7.35pm)

15. Blair Kinghorn (82)

14. Darcy Graham (24)

13. James Johnstone (43)

12. George Taylor (12)

11. Duhan van der Merwe (48)

10. Simon Hickey (25)

9. Henry Pyrgos (29)

1. Pierre Schoeman (31)

2. Stuart McInally (138) CAPTAIN

3. Simon Berghan (70)

4. Ben Toolis (113)

5. Grant Gilchrist (141)

6. Jamie Ritchie (64)

7. Hamish Watson (101)

8. Nick Haining (5)

Replacements: 16. Michael Willemse (8) 17. Jamie Bhatti (7) 18. Pietro Ceccarelli (18) 19. Sam Thomson (4) 20. Viliame Mata (63) 21. Nic Groom (4) 22. Jaco van der Walt (46) 23. Damien Hoyland (68)

Unavailable: David Cherry, John Barclay, Eroni Sau, Luke Crosbie, Rory Darge, WP Nel, Matt Scott, Chris Dean, Fraser McKenzie, Lewis Carmichael

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