Graham to hit half-century in Cape Town
Scotland international winger Darcy Graham will make his 50th appearance for Edinburgh Rugby as one change is named to the capital side’s starting XV to face DHL Stormers in tomorrow evening’s URC Final Eight clash at DHL Stadium (Saturday 4 June, kick-off 6pm BST/ 7pm local) – live on Premier Sports.
Henry Pyrgos starts at scrum-half in place of the injured Ben Vellacott in the only alteration to the side that claimed a 28-11 derby win against Glasgow Warriors a fortnight ago.
Tomorrow night’s knockout encounter is the capital club’s first-ever fixture in Cape Town and sees Mike Blair’s side return to South Africa after becoming the first Northern Hemisphere URC team to win in the Rainbow Nation earlier this season (with a 5-21 win against Cell C Sharks last April).
Ahead of the fixture, Head Coach Mike Blair, said: “We’re thankful to our backfield team who were able to able to get us out to Cape Town early, giving us the best possible chance to recover and prepare for Saturday’s match by giving us a full weeks training.
“As a squad, we really benefited from our two-week tour of South Africa back in April, and its once again galvanised the guys – there’s a great feeling of togetherness with this group. They love playing for each other and representing this club.
“We’ve approached tomorrow night’s match in the same way we have all season. It's really important for us to stay relaxed and trust what we are trying to do.
“Stormers are a strong side and we know it’s going to be a huge test away from home, but we have belief and confidence in the way we want to play.”
An unchanged back-three sees Argentine international Emiliano Boffelli – this week named in the Pumas squad for the upcoming Summer Series against Scotland – continue at full-back alongside capped wingers Graham and Damien Hoyland.
Centres Chris Dean and Mark Bennett once again link-up in midfield as stand-off Blair Kinghorn – a try-scorer against Warriors two weeks ago – and Pyrgos combine at half-back.
Hooker Dave Cherry packs down alongside Scotland props WP Nel and Pierre Schoeman as an unaltered lock pairing of Grant Gilchrist and Jamie Hodgson complete the tight-five.
An all-Scotland back-row sees number 8 Magnus Bradbury once again selected alongside flankers Luke Crosbie (blindside) and Hamish Watson (openside).
Edinburgh Rugby team to face DHL Stormers at DHL Stadium in the URC Final Eight
Saturday 4 June (kick-off 6pm BST/ 7pm local) – live on Premier Sports
15. Emiliano Boffelli (17)
14. Darcy Graham (49)
13. Mark Bennett (70)
12. Chris Dean (120)
11. Damien Hoyland (93)
10. Blair Kinghorn (118) VICE-CAPTAIN
9. Henry Pyrgos (69)
1. Pierre Schoeman (82)
2. Dave Cherry (56) VICE-CAPTAIN
3. WP Nel (170)
4. Jamie Hodgson (40)
5. Grant Gilchrist (174) CAPTAIN
6. Luke Crosbie (68)
7. Hamish Watson (130)
8. Magnus Bradbury (112)
16. Adam McBurney (13)
17. Harrison Courtney (8)
18. Lee-Roy Atalifo (26)
19. Marshall Sykes (22)
20. Ben Muncaster (15)
21. Charlie Shiel (44)
22. Jaco van der Walt (88)
23. James Lang (18)
Unavailable: Luan de Bruin, Nick Haining, Henry Immelman, Viliame Mata, Stuart McInally, Ramiro Moyano, Jamie Ritchie, Ben Toolis, Ben Vellacott, Boan Venter.