Edinburgh v Glasgow: Cockerill throws a few curve-balls in reshuffled side

Darcy Graham and Magnus Bradbury return, Blair Kinghorn, Duhan van der Merwe, Hamish Watson and Viliame Mata are retained, and Nathan Chamberlain to make first start

Nathan Chamberlain, in action here for Scotland Under-20s, has been named in the starting XV for Edinburgh tomorrow night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Nathan Chamberlain, in action here for Scotland Under-20s, has been named in the starting XV for Edinburgh tomorrow night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

RICHARD COCKERILL has sprung a few surprises in his Edinburgh team selection for tomorrow night’s clash against Glasgow Warriors. The head coach had promised earlier this week to make 10 changes to the side, but when he talked about protecting some of his most important players ahead of next weekend’s PRO14 play-off clash against Ulster, it was assumed that full-back Blair Kinghorn, winger Duhan van Der Merwe, flanker Hamish Watson and No 8 Viliame Mata would be among those rested, but all four have been named in the starting XV.

Inside centre Chris Dean is the other survivor from last weekend’s 15-30 victory over Warriors, and he will captain the side in the absence of hooker Stuart McInally.

Darcy Graham returns from a niggle which kept him out last week on the right wing and James Johnstone comes in at outside-centre for Mark Bennett.

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Cockerill had also given the impression that 22-year-old scrum-half Charlie Shiel would be kept on the bench despite his try-scoring heroics during the final quarter last weekend, but he has been handed a starting spot, playing alongside 20-year-old stand-off Nathan Chamberlain, who will make his first start after a three minute cameo at the end of last weekend’s match.

Last year’s Scotland Under-20s scrum-half Roan Frostwick is on the bench alongside regular starting stand-off Jac0 van der Walt.

In the pack, Magnus Bradbury is fit again and selected at blindside, while Nick Haining – ordinarily a No 8 – is named in the second-row alongside Jamie Hodgson, who impressed after taking over from the injured Andrew Davidson midway through the first half of last week’s game.

It is a complete swap in the front-row, with Pierre Schoeman, Mike Willemse and Simon Berghan swapping off the bench with Rory Sutherland, McInally and WP Nel.

Summer signings Marshall Sykes and Matt Gordon are also named among the replacements and will make their debut for the club if called upon.

“We’ve given some of our younger guys an opportunity: said Cockerill. “We’ve got a good squad with plenty of depth, so it’s a great chance to blood some new players and give them some experience playing in a derby match.

“We’re also looking after our squad and some of those key guys who are important to the way we play. We want as full and as fit a compliment of players as we can going into the Semi-Final.

“The team we’ve selected is definitely exciting and we want to keep momentum going, so we’re looking forward to facing Glasgow in another important fixture for this club.”

Edinburgh Rugby (v Glasgow Warriors at BT Murrayfield, Friday 28 August, 7.35pm kick-off): B Kinghorn; D Graham, J Johnstone, C Dean©, D van der Merwe; N Chamberlain, C Shiel; P Schoeman, M Willemse, S Berghan, N Haining, J Hodgson, M Bradbury, H Watson, V Mata.

Substitutes: S McInally, R Sutherland, W Nel, M Sykes, L Crosbie, R Frostwick, J van der Walt, M Gordon.

Richard Cockerill agrees two-year contract extension with Edinburgh


About David Barnes 3956 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. Chamberlain was a stand out against Wales under 20s and has a chance. This is a big step up but its a free run and the right time to have a look at him. It might work in Sheils favour, if he can strike up a partnership with the rookie then you might be looking at Edinburghs future.

  2. Hope we see less of the argy bargy this week and more good open passing rugby. Too many more interested in scrapping than playing the game which sets a bad example to younger viewers.

  3. Also heard Grant Gilchrist was injured. Hope that is not serious. Thinking ahead to the Scotland squad, watched Exeter v Bristol Bears. Sam HC put in an impressive stint, including a brilliant individual try. Hope Gregor took note.

  4. Shiel couldn’t buy a start under Cockerill and needed to get many more minutes. When he finally gets a start, he has to nurse a 20 year old rookie. And if Shiel gets injured, that rookie is joined by another at scrum half.
    Cockerill had Groom and Pyrgos available. Still clueless about how to blood youngsters properly.
    Signed a new contract this week and Edinburgh so much better since his arrival, but still wonder how much further he can take them, he has a ceiling in coaching and as at Leicester, may have reached it

    • all 3 injured. Richie minor, Hoyland in a moonboot, Toolis had shoulder surgery soon after lockdown, not too many weeks away from a return

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