Leinster v Edinburgh: international backs return for Dublin visit

James Lang and Ramiro Moyano are restored to the visitors' starting line-up after missing the last two games

James Lang
James Lang returns to the Edinburgh back division for the game against Leinster in Dublin. Image: © Craig Watson. www.craigwatson.co.uk

RAMIRO Moyano and James Lang both return from injury to take their places in the Edinburgh back line against Leinster tomorrow night. The Argentine international winger and the Scotland centre were both injured in last month’s narrow Challenge Cup defeat by London Irish and have missed Edinburgh’s two subsequent matches. 

Charlie Savala takes over at stand-off from Jaco van der Walt in a third change behind the scrum from the back division that began the team’s last match, the league loss to the Ospreys. Up front, Adam McBurney starts at hooker instead of Dave Cherry, who is on the bench, and Lee-Roy Atalifo gets a start at tighthead. Ben Muncaster is at blindside, while on the bench replacement tighthead Jake Armstrong and back-row forward Kwagga van Niekirk are poised to make their debuts.

Thirteeen players have been retained by Scotland so are unavailable for the game against the champions, while  Luan de Bruin, Luke Crosbie, Harrison Courtney, Chris Dean, Damien Hoyland, James Johnstone, Bill Mata, Jamie Ritchie and Ben Toolis are on the injury list.

“I’m really excited to see how the guys go,” head coach Mike Blair said. “It’s a great opportunity – similar to the Saracens game – where we talked about where we’re at as a group and whether we can rise to the challenge.

“What we need to do is really take the game to Leinster. We need this group to really step up and take their opportunity. That’s something I’ve been really pleased with so far, is that when guys have got games, they’ve done themselves proud and pushed their case even more in the weeks to come.

“Leinster are clearly a quality side and they’ll be looking for a reaction after falling short against Cardiff a fortnight ago. We’re excited to take our game to the league champions and the guys will be relishing the opportunity to once again represent the club and the city.”

Edinburgh are two points behind leaders Ulster, who have played a game more and are inactive this weekend, so Blair’s team can regain the top spot with a win or a draw. Leinster are four points behind Edinburgh in fourth, but have a game in hand.

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That was the month that was (belatedly): January 2022

Edinburgh (v Leinster at the RDS, Friday @ 6pm): H Immelman; R Moyano, M Currie, J Lang, E Boffelli; C Savala, H Pyrgos (captain); B Venter, A McBurney, L Atalifo, M Sykes, G Young, B Muncaster, C Boyle, M Kunavula. Substitutes: D Cherry, S Grahamslaw, J Armstrong, P Phillips, K van Niekirk, C Shiel, J van der Walt, C Hutchison.

Leinster: J Osborne; T O’Brien, R O’Loughlin, C Frawley, D Kearney; R Byrne, N McCarthy; E Byrne, J Tracy, M Ala’alatoa, R Molony, J Murphy, R Ruddock (captain), S Penny, M Deegan. Substitutes: S Cronin, P Dooley, V Abdaladze, D Toner, M Moloney, L McGrath, H Byrne, R Russell.

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About Stuart Bathgate 1407 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.


  1. Well Sceptic the fact that it may be normal doesnt mean in my opinion its not excessive. It means that at least 5 players will not be playing any rugby this weekend. The issue of players not getting released is not a new one and has often caused the pro teams problems even on weekends between the internationals. I see Sam Johnson has gone straight from the starting team last week to playing for Glasgow on Friday so it does leave you wondering quite how its decided who goes back to their clubs.

    • match day 23. To cover for last minute injury or illness, one scrum half, one hooker, one prop, one lock/back row, one to cover centre/back 3. Which would you leave behind?

      Could easily argue you need 2 props (and LH and a TH), or a lock and a back row, maybe an extra fly half
      It isn’t excessive. Its bare minimum especially away from home.
      So 5

  2. Agree that whilst Scotland may like 28 players it seems excessive when the pro teams have critical matches. Naining and Hodgson would be really useful for Edinburgh who i fear will struggle in the forwards with other injuries in particular Crosbie. Leinsters pack looks quite a bit stronger.

    • it isn’t excessive, its normal
      The problem is that we have Edin and Glas playing on the same weekend as Scotland. This was not supposed to happen this year (it has been a regular problem for years and years), but covid cancellations means rearranged fixtures

  3. Scotland will typically take about 28 players with them, in case of last minute injury or illness. Normal

  4. I Don’t understand why no Scotland squad members were released. Edinburgh could have Vellacott, Haining, Bennett and Hodgson all in the squad as none are in the playing 23 for Saturday.

    • Scotland will typically take about 28 players with them, in case of last minute injury or illness. Normal


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