FIVE members of Scotland’s Six Nations squad have been added to Edinburgh’s starting XV for their Champions Cup round of 16 clash against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road tomorrow [Friday] evening.
Prop Pierre Schoeman, flankers Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson, and wing Duhan van der Merwe all return after being rested last week, while WP Nel takes over the No 3 jersey having featured off the bench in the URC defeat to Connacht.
This match is must-win for Edinburgh to keep their season alive. They can no longer qualify for the play-offs of the URC so their final two league games against Ospreys and Ulster are now dead-rubbers.
“Heineken Champions Cup knockout rugby, Friday night lights and a packed out Welford Road – these are the occasions you truly relish as a player and it’s a privilege to lead this club into our biggest game of the season,” said head coach Mike Blair.
“Some of Edinburgh’s biggest moments have come on the European stage and we understand how significant this match is to everyone connected to the club – fans, sponsors, players and staff alike.
“It will be a brilliant moment kickstarting the Heineken Champions Round of 16 tomorrow night, going up against the English Champions on their home patch. We’re hugely excited for the opportunity to represent the city at such a historic ground.”
Edinburgh (v Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Friday @ 8pm): E Boffelli; D Graham, M Bennett, J Lang, D van der Merwe; B Kinghorn, H Pyrgos; P Schoeman, S McInally, W Nel, S Skinner, G Gilchrist (co-captain), J Ritchie (co-captain), H Watson, V Mata. Substitutes: D Cherry, B Venter, L de Bruin, M Sykes, L Crosbie, B Vellacott, C Hutchison, D Hoyland.
Leicester Tigers: F Steward; A Watson, G Porter, J Gopperth, H Potter; H Pollard, J van Poortvliet; J Cronin, J Montoya (captain), D Cole, G Martin, C Henderson, H Liebenberg, T Reffell, O Cracknell. Substitutes: C Clare, T West, J Heyes, E Snyman, J Wiese,S Wolstenholme, C Atkinson, D Kelly.
Unavailable to Edinburgh: Matt Currie, Wes Goosen, Nick Haining, Henry Immelman, Ben Muncaster, Harry Paterson, Pierce Phillips, Charlie Savala, Angus Williams.