Johnstone starts as Mata returns to face Ulster

Johnstone starts as Mata returns to face Ulster

​Centre James Johnstone is the only change to the starting Edinburgh Rugby side named for tomorrow night’s Guinness PRO14 match against Ulster at BT Murrayfield Stadium (Monday 30 November, kick-off 8.15pm) – live on Premier Sports.

The former Scotland 7s star replaces the injured Mark Bennett (leg) while Viliame Mata makes a welcome return from injury to be named among the replacements.

Scotland 7s squad member and former London Scottish wing Alec Coombes is named on the bench and will make his club debut if called into action.

Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach, Richard Cockerill, said: “We have won two out of our last three games and will be looking to bounce back from what was obviously a disappointing result in Dublin.

“Ulster are a very good side and unbeaten in the Championship so far, so it will be tough task for us on Monday night but it’s a challenge our squad will relish.

“We have a lot of young Scottish players involved who will be desperate to impress and represent their club and their city.”

An unchanged back-three sees 20-year-old Jack Blain make his fifth consecutive start at full-back with Jamie Farndale and Fijian internationalist Eroni Sau once again selected on opposite wings.

Chris Dean is paired with the Johnstone in midfield, while experienced scrum-half and captain Henry Pyrgos accompanies another 20-year-old, stand-off Nathan Chamberlain, at half-back.

Hooker David Cherry – try-scorer in the capital side’s last home win over Cardiff Blues – once again packs down alongside props Pierre Schoeman and Lee-Roy Atalifo in an unaltered front-row, while locks Andrew Davidson and Andries Ferreira complete the tight-five.

An all-academy graduate back-row sees Ally Miller continue at number 8 with Magnus Bradbury and Luke Crosbie selected at blindside and openside flanker respectively. The Edinburgh Rugby team is brought to you by Dentons.

Edinburgh Rugby team to face Ulster at BT Murrayfield, Round 8 of the Guinness PRO14

Monday 30 November (kick-off 8.15pm) – live on Premier Sports

15. Jack Blain (5)

14. Eroni Sau (14)
13. James Johnstone (55)
12. Chris Dean (97)
11. Jamie Farndale (12)

10. Nathan Chamblerain (5)
9. Henry Pyrgos (39) CAPTAIN

1. Pierre Schoeman (50)
2. David Cherry (27)
3. Lee-Roy Atalifo (2)
4. Andries Ferreira (3)
5. Andrew Davidson (8)
6. Magnus Bradbury (83)
7. Luke Crosbie (44)
8. Ally Miller (18)

16. Mike Willemse (27)
17. Sam Grahamslaw (2)
18. Dan Gamble (2)
19. Jamie Hodgson (11)
20. Viliame Mata (75)
21. Connor Boyle (2)
22. Charlie Shiel (23)
23. Alec Coombes *

* Edinburgh Rugby competitive debut

Unavailable due to injury (10): Mark Bennett, Lewis Carmichael, Grant Gilchrist, Matt Gordon, Nick Haining, Damien Hoyland, Murray McCallum, Fraser McKenzie, Dan Nutton, George Taylor.

Unavailable due to international selection (13): Simon Berghan, Jamie Bhatti, Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie, Rory Sutherland, Ben Toolis, Duhan van der Merwe, Jaco van der Walt, Hamish Watson, Mesulame Kunavula.

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