EDINBURGH coach Mike Blair has been able to welcome back several key players for tomorrow night’s 1872 Cup match against Glasgow, with Blair Kinghorn, Luke Crosbie, Sam Skinner, Wes Goosen and Mark Bennett all returning from injury. There are seven changes in all from the team that began last week’s first-leg defeat at Scotstoun, with the other alterations seeing Boan Venter and Henry Pyrgos come into the starting line-up.
Venter takes over at loosehead prop from Pierre Schoeman, who is on the bench, while scrum-half Pyrgos replaces Ben Vellacott. Kinghorn reclaims the No 10 jersey from Charlie Savala, Skinner takes over from Glen Young at lock, and Crosbie is preferred at openside to Connor Boyle.
Goosen, a late call-off last week after being selected in the side, returns on the right wing as part of a back-three reshuffle which sees Emiliano Boffelli return to full-back and Harry Paterson drop out. Outside centre Bennett is an indirect replacement for Chris Dean, who was concussed in the 16-10 defeat by the Warriors; James Lang moves from 13 to 12.
“This is a hugely exciting fixture for all connected to the club,” Blair said. “It’s set to be a special derby at BT Murrayfield and we hope to put in a performance that matches the significance of the 150th-anniversary fixture.
“We’re delighted to welcome back a number of experienced players from injury for this match-up and they’ll be relishing the chance to be back out there representing the city in a game that means so much to us and our supporters. We were obviously disappointed with the end result in the opening leg, however we showed a real resilience to stay in the match. That grit and determination will be needed once again as we go up against a very strong Glasgow side.”
Ten players are listed as unavailable through injury: Dave Cherry, Matt Currie, Chris Dean, Darcy Graham, Damien Hoyland, Henry Immelman, Adam McBurney, Stuart McInally, Cammy Scott and Hamish Watson.
Edinburgh (v Glasgow at BT Murrayfield, Friday 7.35pm): E Boffelli; W Goosen, M Bennett, J Lang, D van der Merwe; B Kinghorn, H Pyrgos; B Venter, T Cruse, W Nel, S Skinner, G Gilchrist, J Ritchie, L Crosbie, V Mata. Substitutes: P Harrison, P Schoeman, A Williams, M Sykes, C Boyle, C Shiel, C Savala, C Hutchison.