SIX Scotland internationalists have been added to Edinburgh’s starting XV for tomorrow lunch-time’s EPCR Challenge Cup pool stage round two clash against Castres Olympique at Hive Stadium, while livewire winger Darcy Graham is set to make his first appearance since recovering from hip and knee injuries he suffered at the World Cup off the bench.
Pierre Schoeman, Grant Gilchrist, Jamie Ritchie, Ali Price, Ben Healy and the recently re-signed James Lang (the only name on that list who was not at the World Cup) are all in the team having not featured in last weekend’s away loss against Clermont.
Meanwhile, outside centre Matt Currie, lock Glen Young and wing Wes Goosen – who all featured from the bench at Stade Marcel-Michelin – return to the starting line-up in the only other changes to the capital XV.
“It’s great to welcome back our Scotland internationalists for tomorrow afternoon’s match,” said Edinburgh ‘senior’ coach Sean Everitt. “They bring added quality, leadership, and experience to the team for a match which is vital to our hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages of the competition.
“After two weeks on the road, we’re excited to be back home at Hive Stadium where our fans have been incredible so far this year. European fixtures are always brilliant occasions for the supporters so hopefully we can provide the entertainment and our fans are walking away happy on Saturday afternoon.”
“It’s also fantastic to see Darcy return from injury to be involved for the first time this season. He’s a special player who has fans on their feet every time he touches the ball and I’m sure the Edinburgh supporters will be eager to see him back on the pitch representing the club.”
Harry Paterson – making his third straight start – shifts to his preferred position of full-back in a back-three alongside Goosen and Duhan van der Merwe on the right and left wings respectively. Lang and Currie link-up in midfield as Scotland duo Price and Healy get the nod at half-back.
Up front, hooker Ewan Ashman continues alongside props Javan Sebastian – a try-scorer in Clermont – and Schoeman, with Gilchrist and Young complete the tight-five. No 8 Viliame Mata anchors a back-row featuring Scotland flankers Hamish Watson and Ritchie.
Elsewhere, hooker Dave Cherry recovers from an ankle injury to be named among the replacements alongside summer signing, D’Arcy Rae, who is in line to make his competitive debut for the club.
Edinburgh Rugby (versus Castres Olympique at Hive Stadium in the EPCR Challenge Cup on Saturday at 1pm): H Paterson; W Goosen, M Currie, J Lang, D van der Merwe; B Healy, A Price; P Schoeman, E Ashman, J Sebastian, G Young, G Gilchrist ©, J Ritchie, H Watson, V Mata. Substitutes: D Cherry, R Hislop, D Rae, M Sykes, L Crosbie, B Vellacott, M Bennett, D Graham.
Unavailable: Emiliano Boffelli (toe), Luan de Bruin (back), Jake Henry (knee), Jamie Hodgson (ankle), Cam Neild (knee), WP Nel (groin), Sam Skinner (knee), Scott Steele (hip), Tim Swiel (concussion).