Rested trio return for 1872 Cup showdown
Head Coach Richard Cockerill today named five changes to the Edinburgh Rugby starting team to face Glasgow Warriors in tomorrow’s 1872 Cup derby at BT Murrayfield Stadium (Saturday 2 January, kick-off 3pm) – live on Premier Sports.
Rested Scotland trio Darcy Graham (wing), Henry Pyrgos (co-captain and scrum-half) and Jamie Ritchie (back-row) return to the front-line for the Guinness PRO14 fixture, having missed the club’s away win over Sale Sharks in the Heineken Champions Cup.
Graham and Pyrgos are straight replacements for Jack Blain and Charlie Shiel – who drop out of the match-day 23 – while back-row Magnus Bradbury moves to the bench to accommodate Ritchie.
Props Pierre Schoeman (loosehead) and WP Nel (tighthead) switch places with Rory Sutherland and Simon Berghan – who join the replacements – to complete the changes.
Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach, Richard Cockerill, said: “We enjoyed the extra time with our families in the absence of the postponed game against Glasgow [on the 27th] and got back to work on Monday to set about our plans for what is always an important fixture for Scottish rugby, the players and our supporters.
“We all know the saying that ‘form goes out of the window’ on derby days, so we’ve been accurate and diligent in a big week’s preparation to give us the right platform for the kind of performance we’ll need to beat Glasgow tomorrow.
“These are huge games for us and our fans who unfortunately can’t be with us at BT Murrayfield tomorrow, so we’ll be going out there giving it everything to kick start the New Year for us and them in the right way.”
Returning wing Graham reforms a familiar back-three trio with full-back Blair Kinghorn and wing Duhan van der Merwe, with stand-off Jaco van der Walt linking up with Pyrgos at half-back.
Centres Mark Bennett and club centurion Chris Dean return to form the midfield once more.
Hooker Stuart McInally – who made his 150th club appearance in the Sale Sharks win – joins Schoeman and Nel in the front-row, in front of reselected locks Ben Toolis and Jamie Hodgson, with Hamish Watson and Viliame Mata completing the back-row with Ritchie.
The remaining change to the squad sees Mike Willemse replace David Cherry as the replacement hooker on the bench.
Edinburgh Rugby team to play Glasgow Warriors at BT Murrayfield Stadium (1872 Cup)
Saturday 2 January (kick-off 3pm) – live on Premier Sports
12. Chris Dean (100)
3. WP Nel (148)
21. Nic Groom (19)
Unavailable due to injury : Lewis Carmichael, Andrew Davidson, Dan Gamble, Grant Gilchrist, Matt Gordon, Nick Haining, Damien Hoyland, Murray McCallum, Fraser McKenzie, Dan Nutton, Charlie Savala, George Taylor