Schoeman hits 50 as Davidson returns for Leinster trip
Prop Pierre Schoeman makes his 50th Edinburgh Rugby appearance as lock Andrew Davidson returns from injury for tomorrow night’s Guinness PRO14 encounter with Leinster at the RDS Arena (Monday 16 November, kick-off 8.15pm) – live on Premier Sports.
The inclusion of Davidson in the second-row is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged starting XV as Head Coach Richard Cockerill sticks with the same side that claimed an 18-0 win against Cardiff Blues last Monday night.
Schoeman - who once again starts at loosehead prop – becomes the 93rd Edinburgh Rugby player to reach 50 appearances for the club, and does so having only missed seven first team matches since making his debut in August 2018.
In the current squad, only WP Nel has reached the accolade quicker, with the tighthead hitting 50 appearances in a window of 54 games played.
The capital side remain without 21 players due to injury and international selection, while stand-off Jaco van der Walt continues his quarantine period after returning from South Africa last week.
Ahead of the fixture, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “We’ve won two in a row with back-to-back gritty performances and we’ve been really pleased with how this young squad have stepped up to the mark in recent weeks.
“We now face a massive test against an unbeaten Leinster side, so we’ve got to use that confidence gained in those wins over Scarlets and Cardiff and make sure we’re bold and decisive in everything that we do.
“Leinster are the reigning league champions for a reason, however we’re improving every week and excited for the challenge that awaits us on Monday night.”
The back-three sees Jack Blain makes his fourth consecutive start at fullback as Eroni Sau and Jamie Farndale continue on the wings.
Centres Chris Dean and Mark Bennett once again link-up in midfield, while scrum-half Henry Pyrgos – named Player of the Match in the win over Cardiff – and stand-off Nathan Chamberlain combine at half-back.
An unchanged front-row sees hooker David Cherry and tighthead prop Lee-Roy Atalifo – both try scorers against the Blues – pack down alongside Schoeman, with lock Davidson returning from injury to partner Andries Ferreira in the second-row.
An unaltered back-row trio of No. 8 Ally Miller and flankers Magnus Bradbury and Luke Crosbie complete the pack.
Elsewhere, Academy graduate Rory Darge is named among the replacements and if called upon the former North Berwick and Melrose back-row will make his Edinburgh Rugby debut.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face Leinster at the RDS Arena in the Guinness PRO14
Monday 16 November (kick-off 8.15pm) – live on Premier Sports
15. Jack Blain (4)
14. Eroni Sau (13)
13. Mark Bennett (42)
12. Chris Dean (96)
11. Jamie Farndale (11)
10. Nathan Chamberlain (4)
9. Henry Pyrgos (38) CAPTAIN
1. Pierre Schoeman (49)
2. David Cherry (26)
3. Lee-Roy Atalifo (1)
4. Andries Ferreira (2)
5. Andrew Davidson (7)
6. Magnus Bradbury (82)
7. Luke Crosbie (43)
8. Ally Miller (17)
Replacements: 16. Mike Willemse (26) 17. Sam Grahamslaw (1) 18. Dan Gamble (1) 19. Jamie Hodgson (10) 20. Rory Darge* 21. Nic Groom (16) 22. Charlie Shiel (22) 23. James Johnstone (54)
Unavailable due to injury: Lewis Carmichael, Viliame Mata, Matt Gordon, Grant Gilchrist, Damien Hoyland, Murray McCallum, George Taylor, Fraser McKenzie
Unavailable due to international selection: Simon Berghan, Jamie Bhatti, Nick Haining, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie, Rory Sutherland, Ben Toolis, Hamish Watson, Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Duhan van der Merwe, Mesulame Kunavula
*Edinburgh Rugby competitive debut