Edinburgh v Bulls: Mike Blair makes five changes ahead of URC round four clash

Charlie Shiel makes his first start of the campaign ahead of Ben Vellacott at scrum-half

Charlie Shiel gets his first URC start of the season at scrum-half. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Charlie Shiel gets his first URC start of the season at scrum-half. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

MIKE BLAIR has made five changes to his Edinburgh starting XV for their United Rugby Championship clash against the Bulls at the DAM Health Stadium tomorrow [Friday] evening.

Winger Damien Hoyland, centre Mark Bennett, scrum-half Charlie Shiel, flanker Magnus Bradbury and hooker Stuart McInally taking over from Ramiro Moyano, Cameron Hutchison, Ben Vellacott, Jamie Ritchie and Dave Cherry, respectively.

Vellacott and Cherry have been named on the bench, while the other three drop out of the squad altogether, with Ramiro is listed as injured. Ritchie and Hutchison appear to be rested.

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“We’ve talked this week about finding balance to our game after doing some really positive things in the draw with DHL Stormers,” said head coach Blair.

“We were delighted to see that focus and energy in our fast start, but it’s about maintaining that throughout the full 80 minutes and ensuring we get our threatening strike runners on ball consistently, and executing our game plan from first whistle to last.

“The players have been buzzing to get back to DAM Health Stadium this weekend and the Vodacom Bulls present a unique challenge with their size and physicality.”


Edinburgh (v Vodacom at the DAM Health Stadium, Saturday 16th October @ 5.15pm British time): H Immelman; D Graham, M Bennett, J Lang, D Hoyland; J van der Walt, C Shiel; P Schoeman, S McInally, L De Bruin, M Sykes, G Gilchrist (captain), M Bradbury, L Crosbie, V Mata. Substitutes: D Cherry, B Venter, W Nel, P Phillips, M Kunavula, C Boyle, B Vellacott, J Johnstone.

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About David Barnes 2991 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.


  1. On Immelman, when he kicks I sometimes think he must be wearing square boots. We need more Can Can less can’t kick.

  2. Last week we started like a house on fire then lost our way. The SA teams are starting to find their feet and the bulls must have the biggest pack in the league. Du Plessis and Coetzee are monsters and looking forward to seeing Kurt-Lee on the wing; he’s like a Kolbe clone. It’s going to be a tough ask but great to see Bennett back, he’s been really sharp in the first couple of games. It’s the last home game at the DAM Health party stadium until December so we could do with a win.

    • That’s what I thought, but a casual look through the Bulls’ player profiles on their website suggests we may have the bigger pack. They have also gone for a 5-3 split on the bench. Probably only had one foot on the scales when weighed. https://bullsrugby.co.za/profiles/vodacom-bulls/
      Hope we don’t find we have gone heavy when they are planning to get all fast and expansive.
      Either way, if Edinburgh can do their jobs for the full 80, we can win this one.
      C’mon Edinburgh.

  3. Immelman up to know looks a journeyman type, hopefully he settles in and improves. Last season (admittedly is was under Cockers Ball) I thought Kinghorn had lost the acceleration he once had) and that is maybe partially why Blair sees him as a 10… Backs options in squad look pretty thin

  4. I wouldn’t be swapping Vellacott right now, while Immelman is leading a charmed life. Surely Kinghorn will take back the 15 jersey.

  5. Interesting that 6 forwards are listed on the bench but possibly needed against the Bulls as most SA sides are pretty physical.
    Keep wondering if the consistent rotation of players makes it harder for the players to build understanding and partnerships especially amongst the backs.

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