SCOTLAND international Emma Orr, who was a late call-off for last weekend’s Celtic Challenge campaign opener against Glasgow Warriors due to illness, will make her Edinburgh debut against Irish Wolfhounds at Hove Stadium tomorrow [Saturday] afternoon. The Heriot’s Blues/Biggar flyer will take over the 13 jersey, with Rachel Philipps moving to full-back in place of the benched Nicole Marlow of Cardiff Met.
Meanwhile, there are two changes in the capital side’s front-row with Scotland internationalist Panashe Muzambe starting at loosehead alongside Watsonian FC tighthead Molly Poolman. Saracens’ Nicola Haynes retains her starting berth at hooker.
Jenny Maxwell, another Scotland cap, will continue her recovery after 20 months out through injury with another start at scrum-half, having played a pre-agreed 20 minutes in last weekend’s historic win over Glasgow Warriors at Hive Stadium in the first ever Scottish inter-city women’s clash.
“She [Maxwell] is still being managed on her return to play and she’ll play slightly longer this week than last,” said Edinburgh head coach Claire Cruikshank.
The Wolfhounds kicked off their Celtic Challenge campaign with a 15-21 away win over Clovers last weekend.
“Everyone’s on a high after that first game, so it’s been quite easy to come in and keep things rolling,” Cruikshank continued. “We’re all on a real buzz from last weekend, because the event was fantastic.
“We’re hopefully going to build on that this week. It’s one game into a different competition and there are definitely different challenges coming up over the next few weeks, so I’m just trying to keep everyone grounded.
“We’re definitely going to have to be a little bit more physical this week, and probably a bit more conscious around the maul area. We’ll just have to be a little bit more savvy in everything we do.
“The Wolfhounds have got a lot more players with international experience. We’ve got to be ready to front up.”
Edinburgh Rugby (v Irish Wolfhounds at Hive Stadium on Saturday @ 2pm): R Philipps; H Walker, E Orr, B McNamara, C Bell; S Denholm©, J Maxwell; P Muzambe, N Haynes, M Poolman, F McIntosh, N Logan, G Bell, A Stewart, M Gunderson. Subs: M Whitehouse, P Fletcher, K Lindsay, A Ferrie, F Walker, L Brebner-Holden, N Marlow, N Flynn.
Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors head coach Chris Laidlaw has made a six changes to his starting XV for Sunday’s away match against Gwalia Lightning.
In the pack, Louise McMillan returns to Saracens which hands Ellie Williamson a first outing in the second-row, Demi Swann joins the starting line-up at loose-head prop after being unwell last weekend with Allie Tucker moving to the bench, and Lucy Winter is rewarded for her impact as a second half replacement against Edinburgh by being handed a starting spot in the back-row in place of Izzy Hannay.
In the backline, Scotland scrum-half Mairi McDonald comes i at scrum-half so team co-captain Rhea Clarke drops to the bench, Pearl Kellie continues on the left wing after showing well as an early replacement last weekend, and Kiyomi Honjigawa of Corstorphine Cougars comes in at full-back.
“After the great occasion that it was last week it’s been great to get back in this week, review the Edinburgh game and prepare for the challenge of heading down to Wales for this weekend’s game against Gwalia,” said Laidlaw.
“A few players will get their first opportunity to play for Warriors this weekend which is exciting for us and starts to build more competition for places within the group which is what we will need during this competition to be competitive.”
Lightning are on a high having won [5-20] their Welsh derby match against Brython Thunder at Rodney Parade on New Year’s Day.
Glasgow Warriors (v Gwalia Lightning at Cardiff Arms Par on Sunday @ 1.30pm): K Honjigawa; S Phimister, C McLaren, L MacRae, P Kellie; C Ainsworth, M McDonald; D Swann, N Simpson, E Fleming, E Turner©, E Williamson, H Bogan, L Winter, A Love. Subs: K Craig, A Tucker, C Brown, S Anderson, I Hannay, R Clarke, C McDonald, G Chicot.