Seven changes for Bordeaux test

Seven changes for Bordeaux test

Edinburgh have named a reshuffled starting XV for tomorrow afternoon’s Challenge Cup Quarter-Final against Bordeaux Bègles at Stade Chaban Delmas (Saturday 19 September, kick-off 12.30pm BST/ 1.30pm local time) – live on BT Sport.

Head Coach Richard Cockerill makes seven changes altogether – four to the backline and three in the forward pack - as the capital side prepare to face the French Top 14 club for the third time this season.

In the backs, Damien Hoyland, James Johnstone and Charlie Shiel replace the injured Duhan van der Merwe, Mark Bennett and Nic Groom, while centre George Taylor gets the nod in midfield.

In the forwards, front-row duo Pierre Schoeman and Simon Berghan form a new prop pairing as Scotland flanker Jamie Ritchie is handed his first start since the capital side returned to competitive action last month.

Ahead of the European Quarter-Final, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said:

"Bordeaux are a very good team, we have played them twice already this season. If the Top 14 season hadn't been cancelled, they probably would have been champions of France because they were the best team by far. We have an opportunity to play a very good side, put our best foot forward and keep improving.

“We are good enough to compete with them and beat them if we get it right. We have got to make sure we keep them out of our half as they are a big powerful side.

“But we know if we do what we do well, we execute and we are accurate, then we are more than good enough to compete and stay in the game. We’re going there to try and get a result, it's as simple as that."

Blair Kinghorn – whose eight scores make him the club’s leading Challenge Cup try-scorer – continues at fullback as wingers Darcy Graham and Hoyland are named on opposite flanks.

An all-new centre pairing sees Taylor and Johnstone selected in midfield, while scrum-half Shiel and stand-off Jaco van der Walt form a new look half-back combination.

Captain Stuart McInally is once again named at hooker and packs down alongside props Schoeman and Berghan. Club centurions and locks Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis continue in the second-row.

The inclusion of Ritchie is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back-row as Hamish Watson and Viliame Mata complete the pack.

Edinburgh Rugby team to face Bordeaux Bègles at Stade Chaban Delmas

Saturday 19 September, kick-off 12.30pm BST/1.30pm local time – live on BT Sport

15. Blair Kinghorn (90)

14. Darcy Graham (32)

13. James Johnstone (50)

12. George Taylor (22)

11. Damien Hoyland (74)

10. Jaco van der Walt (57)

9. Charlie Shiel (19)

1. Pierre Schoeman (43)

2. Stuart McInally (145) CAPTAIN

3. Simon Berghan (81)

4. Ben Toolis (120)

5. Grant Gilchrist (150)

6. Jamie Ritchie (69)

7. Hamish Watson (110)

8. Viliame Mata (74)

Replacements: 16. Mike Willemse (21) 17. Rory Sutherland (84) 18. Murray McCallum (55) 19. Andrew Davidson (2) 20. Magnus Bradbury (77) 21. Nick Haining (13) 22. Dan Nutton (1) 23. Chris Dean (91)

Unavailable due to injury: Duhan van der Merwe, Mark Bennett, Nic Groom, Henry Pyrgos, Lewis Carmichael, Fraser McKenzie, WP Nel, Roan Frostwick

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