Edinburgh make five changes for Connacht match

New signing Stan South starts in second row for Conference B clash

Richard Cockerill
Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill will now turn his attention to next week's game against Munster. Image: Fotosport/David Gibson.

STAN South, Edinburgh’s new signing from Exeter Chiefs, will make his debut against Connacht tomorrow night – one of five changes from the line-up that started last week’s 14-9 win at Scarlets. With Grant Gilchrist on Scotland duty in Rome and Fraser McKenzie out with a shoulder injury,  South joins Lewis Carmichael in the second row.

Two of the other changes are at half-back, where Nic Groom and Simon Hickey take over from Henry Pyrgos and Jaco van der Walt, and the other two are in the front row, with hooker Mike Willemse and tighthead prop Simon Berghan replacing David Cherry and WP Nel respectively. Academy prop Dan Winning could make his debut off the bench.

 “The next two weeks will be important for us,” head coach Richard Cockerill said. “Being top of the conference is great, and we’re delighted with that position, but we’re not getting too excited.

“We’re on good form in the league and the boys have continued to stay in the battle. These parts of the season aren’t about style however, it’s about substance. It’s about getting a W at the end of the column, four points, and having an opportunity to compete in the play-offs.

“Connacht are a good team and they’ve got a coaching group that like to play. Andy Friend is a great coach and they play some expansive stuff. They made a good Cardiff Blues side look very ordinary last weekend, so we know that we’ll have to be at the top of our game come Friday night.”

The full list of unavailable players is: Jamie Bhatti, Jack Blain, Magnus Bradbury, Pietro Ceccarelli, David Cherry, Grant Gilchrist, Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Stuart McInally, Fraser McKenzie, WP Nel, Henry Pyrgos, Jamie Ritchie, Jack Stanley, Rory Sutherland, Ben Toolis and Hamish Watson.

Connacht have made four changes, all to their pack, from the team that beat Cardiff 29-0 last weekend.

Edinburgh (v Connacht at BT Murrayfield, Friday 7.35pm): D Hoyland, E Sau, M Bennett, M Scott, D van der Merwe; S Hickey, N Groom; P Schoeman, M Willemse, S Berghan, S South, L Carmichael, N Haining, L Crosbie, V Mata. Substitutes: C Fenton, M McCallum, D Winning, J Hodgson, J Barclay, C Shiel, J van der Walt, G Taylor.

Connacht: T O’Halloran, N Adeolokun, K Godwin, P Robb, J Porch; J Carty, K Marmion; D Buckley, S Delahunt, F Bealham, N Murray, J Maksymiw, P Boyle, C Fainga’a, J Butler (captain). Substitutes: J Murphy, P McAllister, D Robertson-McCoy, E Masterson, E McKeon, C Blade, C Fitzgerald, T Daly.

About Stuart Bathgate 1431 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. Edinburgh really have some strength in depth now, just wish games weren’t tied to Premier sports!!!

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