Edinburgh v Brive: Freddie Owsley handed debut in crucial Challenge Cup pool match

Head coach Mike Blair has made 11 personnel and two positional changes

Freddie Owsley, in Super6 action here for Southern Knights against Heriot's, will make his Edinburgh debut against Brive tomorrow night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Freddie Owsley, in Super6 action here for Southern Knights against Heriot's, will make his Edinburgh debut against Brive tomorrow night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

WINGER Freddie Owsley will make his Edinburgh debut in their penultimate Challenge Cup pool match of this season against Brive at the DAM Health Stadium tomorrow night. The capital club are targeting a win as they hunt qualification to the last 16 of the tournament.

Meanwhile, Scotland caps Darcy Graham, Mark Bennett, Dave Cherry, Hamish Watson and Stuart McInally all return after missing last weekend’s defeat to London Irish. Head coach Mike Blair has made 11 personnel and two positional changes in total to his starting XV.

Owsley – a former sprinter who represented Great Britain U20 in the 200m, 400m, 4x100m and 4x400m, was national 400m U20 Champion and earned a place in the British indoor and outdoor senior 200m final –  joined the club from an academy contract with Bristol Bears last summer, and his game time this season so far has been limited to a couple of hit-outs for the Southern Knights Super6 side.


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Cammy Hutchison returns from injury to start at inside-centre, while scrum-half Charlie Shiel is handed the No 9 jersey in the remaining changes to the backline.

A reshuffled tight-five sees Watsonians’ partnership player Angus Williams start at tight-head, as lock Glen Young makes his first start for the club following his summer move from English Premiership Champions, Harlequins.

Elsewhere, Fijian international number 8 Mesu Kunavula returns from injury to make his first start of the season.

“We were obviously frustrated with last weekend’s loss to London Irish, however, after a good week of training you can feel the buzz around the squad to get a reaction and we’re really excited to be back in front of our home support at DAM Health Stadium this Friday night,” said Blair.

“We’ve made a number of changes to the squad and we’re excited to see those guys get their chance – including Freddie  who’s had to remain patient for his opportunity – but has really invested in himself by working hard at his game and driving his self-improvement.

“We’ve spoken this week about physicality and speed of thought but also around engaging our supporters by imposing our game on Brive.”

 

Edinburgh (v Brive at DAM Health Stadium, Friday @ 8pm): E Boffelli; D Graham, M Bennett, C Hutchison, F Owsley; B Kinghorn, C Shiel; P Schoeman, D Cherry, A Williams, G Young, G Gilchrist (captain), J Ritchie, H Ritchie, M Kunavula. Substitutes: S McInally, H Courtney, W Nel, M Sykes, B Mancaster, H Pyrgos, C Savala, H Immelman.


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About David Barnes 2917 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

6 Comments

  1. Surprising selections in some positions and on the bench. Various players not even seem to be in the squad Eg Lang, Nel, Haining, Bradbury, Vellacott, Hodgson,, Boyle etc Are they all injured ? Has Blair given up n trying to qualify for the next stages of this competition? Bemused.

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  2. Watched Freddie Owsley in a SK game and he looked to have very little rugby about him indeed he was technically very poor , he’s obviously quick from his athletics background but to me he did not look like he would progress any higher….

    • This has also aged remarkably well…

      It’s almost like those that are paid to run the team know a wee bit about the players in the squad and their capabilities…

      • His two tries tonight were superbly taken, particularly the first, which showed no little footballing skill from the three kick ons. He clearly has top echelon speed too. That said, he looked hesitant in defence and based on just one game, looks far faster in attack than in defence, in marked contrast, say, to Darcy Graham, who was exemplary in both facets. Time will tell how much of a defensive weakness he might be but he’ll worry opposition defences mightily on the end of some of the sublime handling this Edinburgh side are showing.

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