Edinburgh v Bath preview: Sean Everitt names 24-man squad for friendly

Ben Vellacott, Jordan Edmunds and Patrick Harrison will all start the home game

Wes Goosen
Wes Goosen in action against Leinster. Image: © Craig Watson. www.craigwatson.co.uk

AFTER making 14 changes at half-time in last week’s 45-19 defeat by Connacht, Edinburgh plan a more settled line-up – not to mention hoping for a more encouraging result – when they play Bath tomorrow evening (Friday).

It should be said that the selection which began the game against the Irish side fared pretty well, and were ahead 19-7 at the end of the first half. It is little surprise, then, that senior coach Sean Everitt’s selection to face Bath is largely based on that original team. And, with only 24 players named in the squad, the aim is clearly to come far closer to replicating competitive match conditions.

There are two personnel changes in the back division, with Ben Vellacott and Jordan Edmunds coming in at scrum-half and left wing respectively. Vellacott, the club co-captain, returns after being on paternity leave last week and takes over from Charlie Shiel. Wes Goosen moves to outside centre to accommodate GB Sevens player Edmunds, while Mark Bennett goes from 13 to 12 and Matt Currie drops to the bench.

In the pack, the only change is at hooker, where Patrick Harrison starts instead of Adam McBurney, who has been unable to train fully this week because of illness. Tighthead prop D’Arcy Rae, who joined this week from Montpellier, has a place on the bench.

“This will be a great test for the squad and a good measure of where we’re at both physically and mentally ahead of the start of the URC campaign,” Everitt said. “We were really happy with a number of aspects of our game against Connacht, especially our defensive intensity and ability to turn pressure into points in the opening 40 minutes. It was also great to see so many young players step up, with Cammy Scott and Nathan Sweeney both making their first home starts.

“Bath are a really physical side with plenty of quality across the board. We’re looking forward to the challenge tomorrow night.”

Edinburgh still have a number of players on the injury list in addition to those who are absent on Rugby World Cup duty.  Bath are, of course, without their new star signing Finn Russell as well as his Scotland team-mate Cameron Redpath and England duo Will Stuart and Ollie Lawrence, and have a Premiership Rugby Cup tie against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, so have had to split their squad.

Ruaridh McConnochie, who was in Scotland’s World Cup training squad, is on the left wing for the visitors. Bath have named a group of 28 for the game and will use rolling substitutions.

Meanwhile, the English club have announced that back-row forward Josh Bayliss, who like McConnochie just missed out on a place in Gregor Townsend’s final 33-man squad for France, has had surgery on a thigh injury sustained in pre-season training. He is expected to be out of action until the end of January.

Edinburgh (v Bath at Hive Stadium, Friday 7.30pm): N Sweeney; R McCann, W Goosen, M Bennett, J Edmunds; C Scott, B Vellacott (captain); B Venter, P Harrison, A Williams, G Young, J Hodgson, T Dodd, C Boyle, C Neild. Replacements: A McBurney, R Hislop, D Rae, L McConnell, M Eadie, C Shiel, C Savala, C Dean, M Currie.

Bath: C Donoghue; G Goss, L Hennessey, M Wright, R McConnochie; S Harris, T Carr-Smith; A Cordwell, J Spandler, K Verden, J Tonks, E Richards (captain), E Staddon, T Cowan, A Green. Replacements: M Pearce, M Summerfield, A Griffin, M Graham, E Erksine, J Dingley, A Akenzua Al-Kareem, N Merigan, I Davies, G Worboys, W Parry, L Graham, W Sela.

About Stuart Bathgate 1394 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.

1 Comment

  1. This game should be a fiver for all with Edinburgh missing so many and Bath also half strength.

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