Edinburgh v Montpellier: Richard Cockerill says ‘same again’ for crunch pool game

Coach shows faith in squad who beat Toulon last week to set up Champions Cup decider

Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill.
Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill. Image: ©Fotosport/David Gibson.

RICHARD Cockerill has named an unchanged 23 for Edinburgh’s crunch Champions Cup pool game against Montpellier tomorrow night. After seeing his team perform so well in their win at Toulon last week, the head coach was always likely to go with the same line-up, and if there were any slight injury worries they would appear to have evaporated.

Edinburgh will top the pool and go through to the quarter-finals automatically if they lose or draw, and a win would also ensure Glasgow Warriors of a last-eight place. Even a loss could also be enough to take Cockerill’s team through to the knockout stages for the third time in their history, either by picking up bonus points to stay ahead of Montpellier in the pool or by ending up one of the third best runners-up from the five groups. 

Needless to say, the coach is not too interested in any such permutations, when any kind of win will be enough. “We’ve given ourselves the opportunity to finish top of the group and to be at home in the quarter-finals, so I want us to take that opportunity,” he said on the team’s website. “We’re going to go out there, gumshields in, sleeves rolled up, and we’re going to get in the middle of it and see where we get to.

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“All the pressure will be on them – they’re the A-listers. They’ve won one of their last 13 away European games and that was at Glasgow, but they’ll have expectations to get out of this group.

“I’m going to back ourselves, however. They’ve got some great coaches and world-class players, but we’re going to do everything we can to win on Friday night, and I believe we can do it if we get it right.”

Edinburgh (v Montpellier at BT Murrayfield, tomorrow 7.45pm, live on BT Sport): Blair Kinghorn; Darcy Graham, James Johnstone, Chris Dean, Duhan van der Merwe; Jaco Van der Walt, Henry Pyrgos; Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally (captain), Willem Nel, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Bill Mata. Substitutes: David Cherry, Allan Dell, Simon Berghan, Fraser McKenzie, Luke Crosbie, Nathan Fowles, Simon Hickey, Juan Pablo Socino.

Montpellier: Frans Steyn; Timoci Nagusa, Arthur Vincent, Jan Serfontein, Henry Immelman;  Johan Goosen, Ruan Pienaar; Grégory Fichten, Bismarck Du Plessis, Jannie Du Plessis, Nico Janse van Rensburg, Jacques Du Plessis, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Yacouba Camara, Louis Picamoles (captain). Substitutes: Vincent Giudicelli, Usha Tcheisvhili, Levan Chilachava, Kelian Galletier, Yvan Reilhac, Benoit Paillaugue, Vincent Martin, Paul Willemse.

Referee: JP Doyle (England).

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.