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.
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.