Settled squad named for London Irish trip
Edinburgh Rugby name a settled squad for tomorrow’s EPCR Challenge Cup Round 3 clash against London Irish at Brentford Community Stadium (Saturday 15 January, kick-off 3.15pm) - streamed live at epcrugby.tv
The matchday 23 features four changes to the side that claimed a bonus-point win against Cardiff Rugby at DAM Health Stadium last weekend.
Matt Currie (20) – who this week penned his first professional deal – gets his opportunity at outside centre in place of Mark Bennett in the only alteration to the starting backline.
Up front, hooker Adam McBurney and loosehead prop Boan Venter start in place of Stuart McInally – who misses out through injury - and Pierre Schoeman, with the latter named among the replacements.
The inclusion of Nick Haining at blindside flanker is the only change to the back-row as Jamie Ritchie switches to the openside in place of Hamish Watson.
Edinburgh Rugby travel to London for the second time in just over a month having beaten Saracens 18-21 at StoneX Stadium in Round 1 of the competition last December.
Ahead of the European match-up, Blair, said: “Selection has been one of the hardest parts of the job so far because players are training well and putting their hands up but guys are performing on the pitch as well. We’ve spent a lot of time selecting this side and we believe we’ve got a team that can go out there and challenge London Irish.
“We were really pleased with the performance against Cardiff. We left a couple of opportunities out there but we really enjoyed the intent and the physicality. Both are important parts of our game and we’ve been building on them in training to bring into this weekend’s game.
“I love the way London Irish play. They move the ball around a lot and are really innovative with what they’re trying to do, with their set plays and scrum play. I think it’ll be an excellent game.”
An unchanged back-three sees Henry Immelman start at full-back with Argentine internationals Ramiro Moyano and Emiliano Boffelli – both try-scorers in the bonus-point win against Cardiff – selected on opposite wings.
Currie makes his third start of the season and links-up with Scotland internationalist James Lang in midfield, while scrum-half Ben Vellacott and stand-off Blair Kinghorn are once again paired at half-back.
Tighthead prop WP Nel packs down alongside the aforementioned front-row duo of McBurney and Venter, as locks Grant Gilchrist – who skippers the side – and Jamie Hodgson form the remainder of the tight-five.
Number 8 Magnus Bradbury anchors an all-Scotland back-row with Haining and Ritchie.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face London Irish at Brentford Community Stadium in Round 3 of the EPCR Challenge Cup
Saturday 15 January (kick-off 3.15pm) – streamed live at epcrugby.tv
15. Henry Immelman (6)
14. Emiliano Boffelli (4)
13. Matt Currie (5)
12. James Lang (8)
11. Ramiro Moyano (4)
10. Blair Kinghorn (107) VICE-CAPTAIN
9. Ben Vellacott (9)
1. Boan Venter (16)
2. Adam McBurney (1)
3. WP Nel (163)
4. Jamie Hodgson (31)
5. Grant Gilchrist (166) CAPTAIN
6. Nick Haining (23)
7. Jamie Ritchie (83) VICE-CAPTAIN
8. Magnus Bradbury (102)
16. Patrick Harrison (3)
17. Pierre Schoeman (73)
18. Lee-Roy Atalifo (15)
19. Marshall Sykes (13)
20. Connor Boyle (11)
21. Charlie Shiel (40)
22. Jaco Van der Walt (76)
23. Chris Dean (111)
Unavailable: Luan de Bruin, Dave Cherry, Darcy Graham, Damien Hoyland, James Johnstone, Viliame Mata, Stuart McInally, Ben Toolis