Storylines: Scarlets

Storylines: Scarlets

It's another home match-up for Richard Cockerill's side as Scarlets visit the Scottish capital tomorrow (Saturday 27 February) afternoon.

These are the storylines to look out for as we look ahead to the 12 noon kick-off at BT Murrayfield:

Welcome back, Darcy

Edinburgh Rugby welcome back four internationalists into their matchday 23 following the postponement of Scotland's Guinness 6 Nations Test in Paris.

Winger Darcy Graham - a try scorer in Scotland's Round 2 match with Wales - makes his first appearance for the club since early January, while stand-off Jaco van der Walt and lock Grant Gilchrist both get the nod for the vital PRO14 clash.

Hooker Dave Cherry is also released from Scotland's 6 Nations training camp and is selected among the replacements.

The returning Scotland men offer Head Coach Richard Cockerill a welcome boost, with Gilchrist's availability a particular positive, with five senior second-rows currently unavailable due to injury.

A 'must-win' match-up

Head Coach Richard Cockerill certainly hasn't downplayed the importance of Saturday's clash, especially given the context of both club's league position and the hunt for the coveted top-three positions in the Conference.

Edinburgh trail the visitors – who currently occupy Conference B’s third guaranteed European Champions Cup qualification spot – by 11 championship points with two games in hand, with tomorrow’s match offering the prospect of a win-loss ‘swing’ of points for the victor.

Ahead of the match, Cockerill said: It’s a must-win match for us and for them too. They’ll be coming here looking to get revenge for our win in Wales earlier in the season and cement their place in the race for Europe.

“It’s up to us to throw everything at this match and, with the postponement of the Scotland match, we’re able to bring four players back into the fold to help us plan and prepare to do exactly that.”

Schoeman takes co-charge

Saturday's clash will see loosehead prop Pierre Schoeman co-captain the team for the first in his Edinburgh career, sharing duties with scrum-half Nic Groom.

The South African-born bruiser has been a fan favourite since arriving in the capital in 2018 and is now clearly regarded as a leader in the Edinburgh pack.

Schoeman has already amassed 57 appearances for the capital side and will be using that experience to lead from the front.

Crosbie hits 50

Academy graduate Luke Crosbie will make his 50th appearance for the club if called into action tomorrow afternoon.

The Livingston man is named among the replacements, but will be eager to hit a half-century for his boyhood club and the team he grew up supporting.

In his programme notes, Crosbie said: "It means a lot to me. I’ve come right through the system from when they first launched the Scottish Rugby Academy at Sighthill, back in a time when I was just happy to be able to use a gym for free.

"I’m proud I’ve been able to fulfil my dream of playing for my boyhood club, to reach 50 caps playing for my city is something really special for me and my family."

Good afternoon

It's set to be 10 degrees with sunny intervals when tomorrow's match kicks-off - a far cry from the winter weather we've all been used to at BT Murrayfield.

It's safe to say Richard Cockerill's side aren't familiar with those types of conditions, especially at home.

Take away a handful of early 1872 Cup kick-offs and you'd have to go far back as 2018 to experience an Edinburgh Rugby PRO14 match-up in the light of day.

14 April 2018 to be exact. Edinburgh Rugby 52-14 Scarlets was the scoreline... hopefully a good omen for this weekend's crucial clash.

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