AS expected, Edinburgh’s frontline internationalists have been rested for twmorrow’s away match against Benetton, meaning there is no Emiliano Boffelli (Argentina), Darcy Graham, Duhan van der Merwe, Mark Bennett, Blair Kinghorn, Viliame Mata (Fiji), Jamie Ritchie, Grant Gilchrist, Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel – but head coach Mike Blair has been able to bolster his side with the return of four senior players from injury.
Hooker Stuart McInally, centre James Lang and full-back Henry Immelman all start for the capital outfit, while scrum-half Ben Vellacott is named on the bench.
Blair has made five further changes to the side that claimed a road win in Cardiff last month with scrum-half Henry Pyrgos, tight-head prop Angus Williams and second-row Marshall Sykes all getting the nod for this weekend’s Scottish x Italian Shield clash, alongside returning Scotland fringe players Damien Hoyland (wing) and Nick Haining (blindside flanker).
“While it’s been great to get a period of rest where we’ve been able to get guys fit, work on certain aspects of our game and take stock on the season so far, we’re hugely excited to return to action this weekend as we take on a quality Benetton side,” said Blair.
“As a team, we were really happy with how we played in large parts in both wins at Zebre and Cardiff, and we know we’ll need to match those levels of intensity and work rate for the full 80 minutes in Treviso.
“It’s great that we’re able to integrate some of our international contingent back into the squad, with those players bringing added quality to a group who’ve performed really well in recent weeks.”
Edinburgh (v Benetton Rugby at Stadio Monigo, Saturday 1pm BST/2pm local): H Immelman; D Hoyland, M Currie, J Lang, W Goosen; C Savala, H Pyrgos; B Venter, S McInally, A Williams, M Sykes, J Hodgson, M Haining, L Crosbie, B Muncaster. Replacements: P Harrison, J Jack, L Atalifo, G Young, C Boyle, B Vellacott, J van der Walt, C Dean.
Unavailable: Nick Auterac, Dave Cherry, Cammy Hutchison, Adam McBurney, Sam Skinner, Hamish Watson.
Rested internationalists: Mark Bennett, Emiliano Boffelli, Grant Gilchrist, Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Viliame Mata, WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie, Pierre Schoeman, Duhan van der Merwe.