Storylines: Cardiff Rugby
Edinburgh Rugby host Cardiff Rugby in Round 10 of the United Rugby Championship tomorrow (8 January, kick-off 3pm) - live on PremierSports 1 and BBC Wales.
These are the storylines to look out for in the clash of the capital cities at DAM Health Stadium.
Edinburgh welcome the return of stand-off Blair Kinghorn to their starting XV for the first since sustaining an injury in the home victory over Benetton. The club's youngest ever centurion will be keen to impress against Cardiff Rugby, having recently signed a new contract to extend his stay with his hometown team.
Kinghorn has added an extra dimension to the capital side’s attack, with his back-three running style making an impact closer to the gain line. The fly-half has notched up impressive numbers in his four starts, contirbuting 132 metres from 20 carries, making three clean breaks, and six offloads to unleash the attacking talent in the Edinburgh back-line.
Edinburgh also welcome back Scotland International James Lang and Henry Immelman, with the South African full-back starting for the first time since the 27-10 bonus point win away against Zebre back in October.
Head Coach Mike Blair has named a strong squad for the visit of Cardiff Rugby, lining up with a pack filled with Scotland Internationalists. The capital side will start with 226 Scotland caps in the forwards, with a mix of recently capped young talent and experienced campaigners.
Magnus Bradbury will aim to maintain the impressive form that saw the back-rower named Scottish Building Society Player of the Month for December. Bradbury capped off 2021 in style when he became Edinburgh Rugby’s 36th club centurion, and the former Oban man has been in devastating form, making powering metres in attack, and coming up with vital plays in defence.
First place within reach
Edinburgh have made an impressive start to their United Rugby Championship campaign, sitting 2nd in the overall standings and top of the Scottish-Italian Shield. Results went Edinburgh’s way over Christmas, and despite not playing over the festive period the capital side remain just one point behind league leaders Leinster.
Leinster will not be in action this weekend, meaning an Edinburgh win will see them leapfrog the Dubliners to move into first place going into a European weekend.
Edinburgh have not topped a combined table since the 2009-10 Celtic League season, when they opened with consecutive victories over Cardiff, Connacht and Ulster. It is a long season, but top spot in January will be a sign of the impressive progress the side is making under Mike Blair.
Glen Young’s first hit-out
Jedburgh-man Glen Young has been named on the bench for today's match, which could see him make his debut for the club. The 6’6 lock returned north of the border in the summer, however injuries have prevented him from making his first appearance in the Scottish capital.
Young came through the ranks at Riverside Park before kick-starting his professional career with Newcastle Falcons in 2012 as an academy prospect, alongside representing Scotland U20. He spent three seasons at Kingston Park as a senior player before moving to Harlequins in 2019, where he was a regular starter in the Twickenham side’s middle row.
The lock featured against Edinburgh in the Heineken Champions Cup while at Kingston Park but will now have his sights set on impressing at his new club.
Argentina vs Wales
The battle out wide will be see South America clash with South Wales, with Edinburgh's Argentine flyers, Emiliano Boffelli and Ramiro Moyano, and the duo of Wales internationalist Owen Lane and former Edinburgh man Jason Harries locking horns. The Argentine internationals have impressed since arriving in the capital this summer, particularly in their first start together away to the Dragons.
Boffelli announced himself to the Edinburgh faithful almost instantaneously, taking just three minutes to score in his debut against the Dragons, kicking ahead and outpacing the Dragons defence to score. Moyano notched two scores in the same fixture, and both will hope for a similar impact against Cardiff.