Van der Merwe to make 50th appearance in 1872 Cup derby
Duhan van der Merwe returns to make his 50th appearance for the club as Edinburgh Rugby make 10 changes for tomorrow evening’s 1872 Cup first leg against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun (Saturday 21 December, kick-off 5.45pm) – live on Premier Sports
The winger gets the nod in a reshuffled backline with Scotland internationalists Blair Kinghorn, Mark Bennett and Henry Pyrgos all named in the starting XV.
An all-new tight-five sees props Pierre Schoeman and Pietro Ceccarelli, hooker Stuart McInally and locks Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis return to the fray, while Magnus Bradbury starts at blindside flanker.
Ahead of the fixture, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: "If we get it right, we can beat any team on its day which we are slowly doing and proving.
“We’re going there to perform and try and take the points because that’s what we want and we want to beat our local rivals because rivalry is good. That little bit of tribalism is good and I want us to go there and show what a good team we are."
"It is going to be two good teams going against each other. Two good forward packs, two teams that drive very well. Two teams that, when they get into the opposition 22 generally come away with points. We’re looking forward to the challenge.”
A revamped back-three sees Kinghorn named at fullback with wingers Van der Merwe and Darcy Graham selected on opposite flanks.
Centre George Taylor – who this week penned a contract extension with the club – is paired with Bennett in midfield, as scrum-half Pygros returns to link-up with stand-off Simon Hickey at half-back.
Club captain McInally packs down alongside props Schoeman and Ceccarelli in the front-row, with Scotland lock duo Toolis and Gilchrist named in the second-row.
The inclusion of Bradbury at blindside flanker is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back-row as Hamish Watson and Viliame Mata complete the pack.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun in the Guinness PRO14
Saturday 21 December, kick-off 5.45pm - live on Premier Sports
15. Blair Kinghorn (83)
14. Darcy Graham (26)
13. Mark Bennett (29)
12. George Taylor (14)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (49)
10. Simon Hickey (27)
9. Henry Pyrgos (30)
1. Pierre Schoeman (32)
2. Stuart McInally (140) CAPTAIN
3. Pietro Ceccarelli (19)
4. Ben Toolis (115)
5. Grant Gilchrist (142)
6. Magnus Bradbury (71)
7. Hamish Watson (103)
8. Viliame Mata (65)
Replacements: 16. Mike Willemse (10) 17. Jamie Bhatti (8) 18 Simon Berghan (72) 19. Lewis Carmichael (39) 20. Jamie Ritchie (66) 21. Nic Groom (6) 22. Jaco van der Walt (47) 23. James Johnstone (45)
Players unavailable: Rory Darge, Chris Dean, Damien Hoyland, Rory Sutherland, Roan Frostwick, Luke Crosbie, John Barclay, Cameron Fenton, Matt Scott, Fraser McKenzie