Zebre v Edinburgh: Hamish Watson set for 150th appearance in strong visiting line-up

Jamie Ritchie has been named captain of a matchday 23 that contains seven members of the current Scotland squad

Hamish Watson is out of action for several weeks after suffering a facial injury playing for Edinburgh last weekend. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Hamish Watson will make a landmark 150th appearance as part of a very strong Edinburgh back row to face Zebre. Image: © Craig Watson. www.craigwatson.co.uk

HAMISH Watson will make his 150th appearance for Edinburgh tomorrow night against Zebre as they bid to step up their challenge for a URC play-off place. The openside, left out of Scotland’s Six Nations squad, is one of 12 internationals in the starting line-up for the match in Parma.

Jamie Ritchie captains the team, while the other members of the current Scotland squad in the 23 are new cap Harry Paterson (on the wing rather than at full-back), half-backs Ben Healy and Ali Price, and forwards WP Nel, Glen Young and Javan Sebastian. All start apart from Sebastian.  

It will be Edinburgh’s first outing since their Challenge Cup win at Scarlets on 19 January, and their first URC match since they beat Glasgow on 30 December. “The guys have come back from a break refreshed and ready to go,” Everitt added. “It’s been good to give our bodies a rest, but the squad are now champing at the bit to get into game time. 

 “We name a side with plenty of quality and experience to face a Zebre Parma team who are much improved this season. With a number of our internationalists coming back into a settled squad, there is a good balance throughout the 23.

“Players like Jamie, Ali and WP will be eager to impress from the get-go while we’re excited to see younger guys like Paddy [Harrison] and Nathan [Sweeney] get their opportunity from the bench. This is an important fixture for the club. We’ve trained well and are ready for the challenge.”

Five players – Ewan Ashman, Grant Gilchrist, Pierre Schoeman, Sam Skinner, Duhan van der Merwe – have been retained by Scotland. The absence of Gilchrist and the injured Jamie Hodgson leaves the team short at lock, so Everitt has named two back-row forwards on his bench, Tom Dodd and Connor Boyle.

Seven players in all are listed as unavailable through injury. They are:  Luke Crosbie (shoulder), Wes Goosen (quad), Darcy Graham (quad), Hodgson (shin), Robin Hislop (knee), Ben Muncaster (foot) and Scott Steele (hip). However, as Everitt said earlier this week, Graham is now back in full training and remains on course to return to action if required in next week’s Calcutta Cup match at Murrayfield.

 

Edinburgh (v Zebre Parma at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Friday 7.35pm): E Boffelli; H Paterson, M Currie, J Lang, C Dean; B Healy, A Price; B Venter, D Cherry, W Nel, M Sykes, G Young, J Ritchie (captain), H Watson, V Mata. Replacements: P Harrison, L de Bruin, J Sebastian, T Dodd, C Boyle, B Vellacott, M Bennett, N Sweeney.

About Stuart Bathgate 1392 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.

8 Comments

  1. “Super Series – the part-time professional league which bridges gap between the top of the club game and the pro tier – is to be disbanded”

    Any comment TOS? Why has the article been removed?

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  2. Strong team in the circumstances.Only concerns are Dean on the wing and no 2nd row cover.
    Nice to see Harry Paterson getting more game time!

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