MICHELE RIZZO, who has been on loan to Edinburgh since the start of the season, has returned to Leicester Tigers and been named as an ‘Additional Player’ in their 41-man European squad. He has been called in as emergency cover after England international Ellis Genge was side-lined for two months with a shoulder injury picked up playing against Wasps last weekend.
The veteran Italian prop was ineligible to play for Edinburgh in their European campaign because he needed to be on at least a three-month contract but had only signed up for six-weeks when he first arrived in the Scottish capital.
Edinburgh, meanwhile, have added obscure Englishman Matt Shields to their European squad ahead of Friday evening’s Challenge Cup game against London Irish. He takes the place of the injured WP Nel [fractured arm].
Carlisle-born Shields has triggered a release clause in his contract with struggling English Championship side Rotherham Titans so that he can throw his lot in with Edinburgh.
The 26-year-old came through the Newcastle Falcons Academy before signing for Nottingham in 2012. He moved to Plymouth Albion for the 2014-15 campaign and joined Darlington Mowden Park the season after that. He was recruited by Harlequins in February 2016 and made 17 appearances there – including 11 in the Aviva Premiership and one in the Challenge Cup – before switching to Rotherham last summer in pursuit of ‘more game-time’.
Recent South African recruit Jaco van der Walt has also been added to Edinburgh’s European squad in place of Duncan Weir, who has not played since suffering an abdominal injury at the start of October.
Another player who is in the frame for a first competitive run-out for the club during the next two weeks is livewire winger Darcy Graham, who made a few waves whilst performing superbly for the Scotland 7s team in Dubai last weekend, finishing as top try scorer and being named in the team-of-the-tournament. The 20-year-old has been told to return home instead of continuing on to the next stop on World Rugby 7s Series circuit in Cape Town this weekend.
Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors have added Kiran McDonald and Samu Vunisa to their European squad in place of injured duo of Tim Swinson and Greg Peterson. They play Montpellier on Friday night.
Each club may select three Additional Players, one of whom must be a front-row player, during the course of the pool stages of European competition. The nominated Additional Player replaces a registered member of the squad and no club can exceed 41 players at any time during the pool stage. The de-registered player may return to the squad at a later date during the pool stage and replace the Additional Player.