Glasgow v Edinburgh countdown: Darcy Graham starts – Emiliano Boffelli on bench

Ali Price gets the nod ahead of Ben Vellacott

The return of Darcy Graham to the starting XV and Emiliano Boffelli to the match-day squad is a big boost to Edinburgh ahead of their 1872 Cup clash against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun tomorrow night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
The return of Darcy Graham to the starting XV and Emiliano Boffelli to the match-day squad is a big boost to Edinburgh ahead of their 1872 Cup clash against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun tomorrow night. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

DARCY GRAHAM will make his first start for Edinburgh this season in tomorrow [Friday] night’s 1872 Cup clash against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun, having come through his comeback match following hip and knee injuries as an early replacement for Harry Paterson against Castres last weekend.

Meanwhile, Argentinean World Cup semi-finalist Emiliano Boffelli is set for his first appearances of the campaign after being named in the be bench having recovered from a toe injury.

Up front, club centurion and tighthead prop WP Nel makes a timely return from injury to take the place of fellow Scotland internationalist Javan Sebastian, who is now a major doubt for the start of the Six Nations after picking up a knee injury in the victory over Castres.


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In form duo Wes Goosen, who shifts from wing to full-back, Matt Currie, at outside-centre, are the only uncapped players in the starting XV.

“I wouldn’t say apprehension,” said ‘senior’ coach Sean Everitt, when asked if nerves were kicking in ahead of this game against Edinburgh’s fierce rivals. “I think the guys are really excited about getting out on the field. It’s been a short week for us having played on Saturday, and the guys have been really good on getting clarity in the plan we’ve put together for Glasgow.

“For us it’s about preparing well. We have chatted about Glasgow, obviously, during the week. But this is about the URC for us, and Glasgow is just another obstacle that we have to get through to achieve our goal at the end of the round-robin stages.

“We’ve been working towards trying to get our big-name players back – Darcy and Emiliano had been carrying injuries for some time. And it was always my plan that when it came to Castres-Glasgow-Glasgow we would try and be at our best.

“The plan has come together quite nicely and timeously, but in saying that, when it comes to derby games, all derbies are 50-50. It doesn’t matter who you put out on the field, the guys need to perform to the best of their ability to get a result.”

Everitt has opted for Ali Price, who is on a season-long loan with Edinburgh after falling down the pecking order at Glasgow, ahead of club co-captain Ben Vellacott at scum-half.

“The scrum-half position is a difficult one, because we’ve got two different types of scrum-half. We saw Ben when he came off the bench against Castres – two big line-breaks which unfortunately didn’t lead to tries. He does offer us something off the bench.

“Ali has the experience of international rugby, having played for the Lions, and he’s comfortable with playing at Scotstoun. That did play a role in the selection.

“We could have asked Ali for a lot of advice. First of all, ethically it’s not right. Two, we need to focus on our job and not worry about what Glasgow bring – we don’t want to be side-tracked by knowing what their calls are. For me it’s just about total team focus this week.

“Ali has gone well – he’s settled in very quickly, a lot quicker than I thought he would after being at Glasgow for so many years. He brings a wealth of experience and calmness to the group.

“He’s very excited at the challenge that lies ahead for him. But at the same time for us it’s been about focusing on our processes and our execution going into the game.

“We will definitely look to Ali to bring calmness to the group. We know that emotions can run high, but having a guy like him with in-depth knowledge of Glasgow has been extremely helpful. And with his experience of being an international, he certainly will help the team.”

 

“I think we’ve put together the strongest team that we can,” Everitt added. “There’s certainly no rotational changes. D’Arcy Rae gets a run at tighthead [on the bench] ahead of Angus Williams, who has done well for us.

“We’re just happy that we see the likes of Boffelli coming back into the group – he’s been extremely frustrated since his arrival back in Edinburgh from the World Cup  with the injury that he picked up. His return comes at a good time for us after we lost Harry Paterson due to concussion.

“I’m very happy with the team we’ve put together and it’s now up to them to execute the plan that we’ve put in place.

“I think they’re two different types of teams. We know that Glasgow like the ball-in-hand approach from anywhere on the field, which means that defensively we have to be aware of what’s coming no matter where they are on the field. They’ve scored bonus-point tries in all of their games apart from one, they’ve got a dangerous maul and have scored 12 maul tries.

“So we know what’s coming from them. At the same time we’ve been improving as well. I believe that we’ve got an all-round game now – at times we maybe haven’t executed it as well, but that does take a little bit of time to get used to.

“So it will be interesting to see how the two different styles of rugby come into play.

“The guys in the Scotland squad want to get one over their team-mates, that’s No 1. Two, we’ve spoken about winning silverware at Edinburgh, and this is definitely an opportunity for us to put a trophy in the cabinet.

“The players spoke about that on my arrival – that’s something that they want to do. So hopefully we take this opportunity with both hands.”

 

Edinburgh Rugby (versus Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun Stadium in the URC on Friday at 7.35pm): W Goosen; D Graham, M Currie, J Lang, D van der Merwe; B Healy, A Price; P Schoeman, E Ashman, W Nel, G Young, G Gilchrist ©, J Ritchie, H Watson, V Mata. Substitutes: D Cherry, B Venter, D Rae, M Sykes, L Crosbie, B Vellacott, M Bennett, E Boffelli.

Unavailable: Luan de Bruin (back), Jake Henry (knee), Jamie Hodgson (ankle), Cam Neild (knee), Harry Paterson (concussion), Javan Sebastian (knee), Scott Steele (hip), Tim Swiel (concussion).


Glasgow v Edinburgh countdown: Javan Sebastian injury could create a Six Nations headache

About David Barnes 3820 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.

4 Comments

  1. Glasgow going heavy, with a six – two bench split to back it up. Our guys will need to be on their toes. Franco’s got a brand new maul and he’s gonna try and use it.

  2. Presumably Lang is FH cover? Seems to be a trend with the 2 pro and the national team that we keep fingers crossed our FHs don’t get crocked and can last the full eighty, with fairly scant cover for what is a key position. And we’ve actually built up a bit more cover – especially if Adam Hastings can recover form and fitness- at national level at least and surely we’ve got to give exposure to others.

    • Why? Surely you don’t expect players to sit out against any of their previous teams? It is professional sport.

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