Edinburgh v Zebre: Mike Blair makes seven changes for match against URC strugglers

Jaco van der Walt selected at full-back

Jaco van der Walt will start at full-back for Edinburgh against Zebre tomorrow night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Jaco van der Walt will start at full-back for Edinburgh against Zebre tomorrow night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

MIKE BLAIR has made seven changes to the side he sent out against Bath last weekend ahead of Friday night’s clash against United Rugby Championship strugglers Zebre.

In the backline, Jaco van der Walt is selected in the unfamiliar position of full-back, Freddie Owsley comes on to the wing to make his third start of the season, Cammy Hutchison replaces James Lang at inside-centre and Henry Prygos come in to captain the side from scrum-half.

In the pack, hooker Dave Cherry, second-row Glen Young and No 8 Mesulame Kunavula  all start in place of Scotland trio Stuart McInally, Grant Gilchrist and Magnus Bradbury.


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“The games are coming thick and fast as we move into the business end of the season,” said head coach Blair. “We face another huge test this weekend against Zebre Parma.

“We’ve made a number of changes to the starting line-up and we’re excited to see guys take their opportunity. Young players like Cammy [Hutchison] and Freddie [Owsley] have had to work hard and stay patient for their chance, so they’ll be fired up to pull on the Edinburgh jersey tomorrow night.

“The guys are playing with confidence but we know we’ll have to be switched on from the first whistle to get a result against a Zebre side that pushed us really hard in Parma. The crowd will once again have a big part to play in driving us forward. We can’t wait to get back out there at DAM Health Stadium.”

  •  Meanwhile, the 2022 United Rugby Championship Grand Final will take place at the home venue of the highest-ranked team at the end of the regular season, it was announced earlier today.

Edinburgh (v Zebre at the DAM Health Stadium, 7.45pm GMT Saturday): J van der Walt; R Moyano, M Bennett, C Hutchison, F Owsley; B Kinghorn (VC), H Pyrgos (captain); P Schoeman, D Cherry, L Atalifo, M Sykes, G Young, B Muncaster, H Watson, M Kunavula. Substitutes: A McBurney, H Courtney, A Williams, J Hodgson, C Boyle, B Vellacott, J Lang, M Currie.

Unavailable: Luan de Bruin, Luke Crosbie, Darcy Graham, Sam Grahamslaw, Nick Haining, Damien Hoyland, Henry Immelman, Viliame Mata, WP Nel (suspension), Jamie Ritchie, Ben Toolis, Boan Venter.

Zebre: J Laloifi; J Trulla, E Cronjé, E Lucchin, S Gesi; A Rizzi, A Fusco; D Fischetti, L Bigi (captain), I Neculai, G Venditti, A Zambonin, L Mitchell, M Mbandà, T Fox-Matamua. Substitutes: G Ribaldi, P Buonfiglio, E Bello, D Sisi, L Andreani, C Cook, T O’Malley, L Pani.


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About David Barnes 3043 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.

3 Comments

  1. I’d assume VDW will defo be kicking. You would’ve thought given Edinburgh’s home record this season a handsome win will be the outcome

  2. A decent looking selection. As long as the attitude is on the mark, we should be capable of keeping the positive momentum going. (I had feared there might have been a temptation to rotate even more players.)
    Also good to see only one new name on the Unavailable list – hope Henry is just out short term and will be back soon along with a few of the others.

  3. Will Jaco van der Walt kick at goal now that Boffelli is not playing? Or will it be Blair Kinghorn?

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