Storylines: Munster

Storylines: Munster

Richard Cockerill's side return to Guinness PRO14 action tonight as Conference B leaders Munster visit the Scottish capital.

These are the storylines to look out for as we approach the 7.35pm kick-off at BT Murrayfield:

Internationalists return

Edinburgh welcome back four players from Scotland's Guinness Six Nations camp, four of whom go straight into the starting line-up.

Hooker Dave Cherry - a debutant in the Calcutta Cup win over England - club co-captain and lock Grant Gilchrist, and stand-off Jaco van der Walt are all named starters for the PRO14 clash - with scrum-half Charlie Shiel selected among the replacements.

In the Munster camp, Andrew Conway and Craig Casey are among four Ireland players returning from international duty to feature in the match, with both starting on the wing and at scrum-half respectively, while Chris Farrell and Shane Daly also return to the back-line.

Potential debutants

Head Coach Richard Cockerill names two potential debutants - loosehead prop Boan Venter and Academy centre Matt Currie - on the bench for tonight's match-up.

Venter joined the club from South African Cheetahs earlier this month and is line for his first taste of Scottish rugby having completed his post-travel quarantine period at the beginning of the week.

Meanwhile, Matt Currie, 20 - who came through the ranks at the city's Merchiston Castle school, before playing club rugby with FOSROC Super6 side Watsonians - could make his professional debut having impressed in the recent 'A' fixture against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium.

Three-game home stand

Tonight's fixture with Munster is the first of a three-game home stand at BT Murrayfield, with Scarlets and Benetton next up on consecutive weekends.

With a win this evening, the capital side have an opportunity to build momentum as they hunt for a top-three place in Guinness PRO14 Conference B, while Richard Cockerill's side still have two games in hand on both Scarlets and Cardiff Blues.

It won't come easy however, the Munstermen have lost just once away from home in any tournament since September: 10-15 at Ulster on 2 January.

European target

Top spot in Conference B may be - just about - out of reach for Edinburgh, however a Heineken Champions Cup securing top-three place is still very much the target for Richard Cockerill's side.

“I think qualification for Europe is certainly a goal for us but it has been a very disjointed season and we don’t know where it is going to end up at this point, or what is happening after this block of games,” said Cockerill in press this week.

Edinburgh have two games in hand over their rivals, one of whom - Scarlets - visit BT Murrayfield next weekend. Opportunity knocks for Richard Cockerill's side and what an opportunity if they can string together a run of results.

Quarter-Final revenge

Amazingly, this is the first time Edinburgh have hosted Munster at BT Murrayfield since facing the Irish side in the Quarter-Finals of the Heineken Champions Cup in March 2019.

There may be around 100 people in total at BT Murrayfield this evening - including players and staff - a far cry from the 36,000 thousand spectators that filled the national stadium nearly two years ago.

The Munstermen edged that European thriller 13-17 - will tonight's match-up be just as nail-biting?

Billy Holland

We must give a shoutout to Munster stalwart Billy Holland who skippers the Irish side tonight and moves joint-second on the all-time list of appearances for the province.

The second row will win his 240th cap at BT Murrayfield which moves him alongside Ronan O'Gara on the overall list and within 28 appearances of record-holder Donncha O'Callaghan.

Spread the word

Newsletter sign up

Sign up to our newsletter today to receive the latest updates from the club.

sign up