LEWIS CARMICHAEL and Henry Pyrgos will make a welcome return from injury tomorrow in Edinburgh’s home PRO14 match against Connacht. Carmichael, who has been out since February, starts alongside Andrew Davidson in the second row, while Pyrgos is replacement scrum-half.
With Blair Kinghorn absent on Scotland duty and Damian Hoyland injured, Jack Blain is named at full-back for what will be just his second appearance for Edinburgh. Back-row forward Connor Boyle, meanwhile, is poised to make his debut off the bench.
With 17 players unavailable because of either injury or international duties, head coach Richard Cockerill has had to select from a much-depleted pool for the game against the Irish province. “We’ve obviously got quite a few players unavailable due to injury or international selection, but we’re excited for the challenge of taking on a very good Connacht outfit,” he said.
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“We’ve had a bit of time to take stock after the opening two rounds and we’ve had a good, solid week of preparation in the build-up to tomorrow night’s fixture. We’re proud of our home record, we like playing at BT Murrayfield and the squad we’ve selected will be desperate to impress and make sure we come away with a positive result.”
Edinburgh have lost their opening two league fixtures but could climb above Connacht in Conference B if they win.
Unavailable due to injury: Lee Roy Atalifo, Matt Gordon, Luke Crosbie, Viliame Mata, Grant Gilchrist, Damien Hoyland, Fraser McKenzie.
Unavailable due to international selection: Simon Berghan, Nick Haining, Stuart McInally, Jamie Ritchie, Rory Sutherland, Ben Toolis, Hamish Watson, Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Duhan van der Merwe.
Edinburgh (v Connacht at BT Murrayfield, tomorrow 7.35pm): J Blain; E Sau, J Johnstone, C Dean, J Farndale; J van der Walt, N Groom (captain); P Schoeman, M Willemse, W Nel, L Carmichael, A Davidson, M Bradbury, A Miller, M Kunavula. Substitutes: D Cherry, J Bhatti, M McCallum, J Hodgson, C Boyle, H Pyrgos, N Chamberlain, G Taylor.
Connacht: J Porch; S Arnold, T Farrell, T Daly, A Wootton; C Fitzgerald, C Blade; D Buckley, S Delahunt, J Aungier, E Masterson, G Thornbury, P Boyle, J Butler (captain), A Papali’i. Substitutes: J Murphy, P McAllister, D Robertson-McCoy, C Prendergast, C Oliver, C Reilly, P Robb, T O’Halloran.
Referee: A Jones (Wales).