Match Preview: Zebre

Match Preview: Zebre

​​Get the latest ahead of Friday night's Rainbow Cup opener against Zebre at BT Murrayfield (kick-off 8.15pm) with this week's Match Preview.

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HOW TO WATCH

The match is live on Premier Sports 2 from 8pm ahead of a 8.15pm kick-off at BT Murrayfield.

You can can also keep up with minute-by-minute updates via the Galbraith Match Centre or listen live on BBC Radio Scotland.


MATCH OFFICIALS

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 73rd competition game)

Assistant Referees: Ben Blain, Ian Kenny (both SRU)

TMO: Mike Adamson (SRU)


TEAM NEWS

Head Coach Richard Cockerill has named a young side to face Zebre in Friday night's Rainbow Cup Round 1 clash.

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, 20, will make his debut for the club at number 8, while Academy centre Matt Currie, 20, earns a first start for a side that is captained by Luke Crosbie.

In the other camp, Carlo Canna reaches 100 appearances for Zebre while Giovanni Licata and Johan Meyer return from injury for the match-up at BT Murrayfield. Click below to get full team news.

OVERALL PRO14 RECORD

Played 14, Edinburgh won 9, Zebre won 5.


STORY OF THE MATCH

Edinburgh and Zebre will be looking to secure a morale-boosting win to start their perspective Rainbow Cup campaigns with a bang after disappointing Guinness PRO14 seasons.

The capital club flirted with a top-three place in Conference B until a defeat to Cardiff Blues in Round 16 ended their hopes, while Zebre finished bottom of Conference A with four wins from 16 games.

Edinburgh Rugby, however, have lost just one of their last five meetings with Zebre.

They should also be buoyed by Zebre’s record at BT Murrayfield, with the Italians triumphing just once in six visits - in October 2016.


LAST TIME OUT

Richard Cockerill's side last faced Zebre in January where they powered to a 10-26 win at Stadio Lanfrachi. Watch the match highlights below:

RECENT MEETINGS

Date

Venue

E

Z

Edinburgh scorers

Zebre scorers

Fri 28 Oct 16

BT Murrayfield

14

19

Ross Ford(T) Sam Hidalgo-Clyne(C) Blair Kinghorn(C) Murray McCallum(T)

Giovanbattista Venditti(T) Carlo Canna(C/D/3P)

Sat 31 Dec 16

Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi

24

19

Will Helu(T) Duncan Weir(C/4P) Chris Dean(T)

Tommaso Boni(T) Carlo Canna(T/2C) Dries van Schalkwyk(T)

Fri 6 Oct 17

Myreside

16

15

Stuart McInally(T) Duncan Weir(C/2P) Jason Tovey(P)

Johan Meyer(T) Marcello Violi(T/C/P)

Fri 26 Oct 18

Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi

16

34

Simon Hickey(C/3P) Darcy Graham(T)

Dave Sisi(T) Carlo Canna(T/4C/2P) Tommaso Castello(T) Gabriele di Giulio(T)

Sat 28 Sep 19

BT Murrayfield

50

15

Jaco van der Walt(5C/P) Matt Scott(T) Nic Groom(T) Mark Bennett(3T) Jamie Farndale(T) Simon Hickey(C) Fraser McKenzie(T)

Federico Mori(T) Giovanni Licata(T) Francois Brummer(C/P)

Sat 23 Jan 21

Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi

26

10

Jaco van der Walt(2C/4P) Mark Bennett(T) Jamie Farndale(T)

Carlo Canna(C/P) Mick Kearney(T)


KEY STATS

Edinburgh Rugby’s only victory in the Guinness PRO14 since late January was against Connacht on 13 March.

Edinburgh’s most recent victory at BT Murrayfield (excluding declared wins) was against Glasgow on 2 January.

Zebre have won just once in the Guinness PRO14 since early January: 26-15 at home to Dragons on 27 February.

Zebre’s most recent victory outside of Italy in the PRO14 was on a trip to Dragons in November 2019.

Edinburgh have lost just one of their last five fixtures against Zebre: 16-34 in Parma in October 2018.

The Italians have won just once in six previous visits to BT Murrayfield: 19-14 in October 2016.


TEAM COMPARISON

COMPARISON

Edinburgh

Zebre

Last 3 PRO14 results:

13 Mar - Connacht (A) W 15-14

6 Mar - Glasgow (H) L 20-31

22 Mar - Cardiff Blues (A) L 15-34

12 Mar - Leinster (H) L 31-48

28 Mar - Dragons (A) L 17-24

19 Mar - Ulster (A) L 3-49

PRO14 2020/21

Conf B: 5th - W5 D0 L10 - 29pts

Conf A: 6th - W4 D0 L12 - 17pts

PRO14 form

wLLwll (10pts)

LlWLLl (4pts)

Top try scorer

3 - Magnus Bradbury

2 - Michelangelo Biondelli, Renato Giammarioli, Mattia Bellini, Pierre Bruno, Luca Bigi

Top points scorer

66 - Jaco van der Walt

68 - Antonio Rizzi

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