MIKE BLAIR has handed Edinburgh debuts to South African tight-had prop Luan de Bruin and Argentine international wing Ramiro Moyano in tomorrow [Saturday] evening’s United Rugby Championship round three clash against the Stormers at the DAM Health Stadium.
The head coach has made seven personnel changes to the team which started in last week’s narrow loss away to Benetton. In the pack, Pierre Schoeman and Dave Cherry also come into an all new front-row, Marshall Sykes is added to the second-row, and Luke Crosbie returns at open-side flanker. Boan Venter, WP Nel and Jamie Hodgson are all benched, while Stuart McInally and Connor Boyle dare rested.
It is slightly more settled behind the scrum, with Cameron Hutchison starting at inside-centre, James Lang shifting to outside centre, and Mark Bennett dropping out the squad, as well as Mayone taking Jack Blain‘s spot on the left wing.
Also on the bench, hooker Adam McBurney, a summer recruit from Ulster, is named among the replacements and in line to make his competitive debut, while Damien Hoyland returns from a knee injury that kept him out of the opening two rounds of URC action.
“While we were clearly disappointed with last weekend’s result in Treviso, the effort and skills were there, and it’s been great to see that work ethic continue into this week’s training and preparation for facing the Stormers,” said Blair.
“We’ve made a number of changes to the starting line-up. Some through injury, but others because guys have put their hand up for selection through the way they’ve trained and we’re really excited to see those players get their opportunity.
“It’s great for the competition to have a team like Stormers involved. They play an exciting and fast-paced style of rugby while they’ve got a lot of size in their team too. It’s going to be a huge test for our guys this Saturday, but it’s one we look forward to immensely.
“We really enjoyed playing in front of our fans against Scarlets. Their support made a huge difference and we’re hoping to get a really good crowd at DAM Health Stadium once again this weekend.”
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Edinburgh (v DHL Stormers at the DAM Health Stadium, Saturday 5.15pm British time): H Immelman; D Graham, J Lang, C Hutchison, R Moyano; J van der Walt, B Vellacott; P Schoeman, D Cherry, L De Bruin, M Sykes, G Gilchrist (captain), J Ritchie, L Crosbie, V Mata. Substitutes: A McBurney, B Venter, W Nel, J Hodgson, M Bradbury, C Shiel, J Johnstone, D Hoyland.
Stormers: W Gelant; S Peterson, J de Jongh, R Pretorius, E van der Merwe; T Swiel, P de Wet; B Harris, S Ntubeni, N Fouche, E van Rhyn, S Moerat, N Xaba, E Roos. Substitutes: J Kotze, K Blose, S Sandi, J Basson, M Theunissen, G Masimla, M Libbock, D du Plessis.
Listed as injured by Edinburgh: N Haining, B Kinghorn, G Taylor, B Toolis, H Watson, G Young.