Hoyland returns for Cardiff encounter

Hoyland returns for Cardiff encounter

Scotland international winger, Damien Hoyland, will make his long-awaited return from injury as Edinburgh face Cardiff Blues at BT Murrayfield in the Guinness PRO14 tomorrow evening (Saturday 23 February, kick-off 7.35pm).

The inclusion of Hoyland is one of six changes made to the side that defeated Dragons at BT Murrayfield as Edinburgh aim to continue their unbeaten record at home in all competitions this season.

Ahead of the fixture, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “We’re missing a few more bodies this week due to international call-ups, but we have a strong desire to win and the capability to do so.

“These games are all important in the run towards the play-offs, so I’m expecting the boys to leave everything out there in order to get the right result.”

In the front-row, prop Pierre Schoeman packs down alongside Pietro Ceccarelli and hooker David Cherry, whilst skipper Fraser McKenzie links-up with Callum-Hunter Hill in the second row.

Viliame ‘Big Bill’ Mata anchors a back-row featuring Ally Miller and openside flanker, Luke Crosbie.

Nathan Fowles and Jaco van der Walt will pull the strings at half-back, while last week’s double try scorer James Johnstone lines up alongside Juan Pablo Socino in the midfield.

Recent Scotland call-up Dougie Fife has been released by the national squad to start at full-back and is joined by wingers Duhan van der Merwe and Hoyland.

The capital side also welcomes back Mark Bennett who is named amongst the replacements - the centre has been sidelined due to injury since the game against Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium in September last year.

Edinburgh team to face Cardiff Blues at BT Murrayfield in the Guinness PRO14 on Saturday 23 February (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports 2

15. Dougie Fife (121)

14. Damien Hoyland (58)

13. James Johnstone (36)

12. Juan Pablo Socino (15)

11. Duhan van der Merwe (35)

10. Jaco van der Walt (33)

9. Nathan Fowles (69)

1. Pierre Schoeman (16)

2. David Cherry (14)

3. Pietro Ceccarelli (8)

4. Fraser McKenzie (110) CAPTAIN

5. Callum Hunter-Hill (13)

6. Ally Miller (6)

7. Luke Crosbie (24)

8. Viliame Mata (54)

Replacements: 16 Ross Ford (192), 17 Rory Sutherland (72), 18 Murray McCallum (48), 19 Jamie Hodgson (4), 20 Senitiki Nayalo (1), 21 Charlie Shiel (1), 22 Simon Hickey (15), 23 Mark Bennett (14)

Unavailable due to injury: WP Nel, Lewis Carmichael, John Barclay, Hamish Watson, Luke Hamilton, Matt Scott

Unavailable due to international selection: Simon Berghan, Magnus Bradbury, Chris Dean, Allan Dell, Grant Gilchrist, Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Stuart McInally, Henry Pyrgos, Jamie Ritchie, Ben Toolis

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