EDINBURGH head coach Mike Blair has re-installed five Scotland squad members to his starting XV ahead of tomorrow’s clash against the Emirates Lions at Ellis Park. The Scottish capital side are looking to make it two-from-two on their mini-tour of South Africa after becoming the first European side to win a United Rugby Championship match south of the equator against Sharks last weekend. They fly home on Sunday.
Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally and WP Nel all come into the front-row, Grant Gilchrist returns to the second-row as captain of the side and Darcy Graham is added to the wing.
Henry Immleman returns at full-back with Emiliano Boffelli switching to the wing in place of Freddie Owsley in the only other change to last weekend’s winning side.
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“We’ve spoken a lot this week about backing up Saturday’s win in Durban with another strong performance against Emirates Lions,” said Blair.
“We’ve seen a real focus among the squad throughout this week’s training and I know the guys will be desperate to once again show that determination and commitment to the jersey that we saw in spades last weekend.
“It’s going to take another massive 80-minute performance in Johannesburg against a really confident Lions side but we’re up for the challenge and look forward to once again representing the club and city in one of world rugby’s most iconic stadiums.”
Edinburgh (v Emirates Lions at Ellis Park, Johannesburg, 3.05pm GMT Saturday): H Immelman; D Graham, M Bennett, J Lang, E Boffelli; B Kinghorn, B Vellacott; P Schoeman, S McInally, W Nel, P Phillips, G Gilchrist (captain), M Bradbury, H Watson, B Muncaster. Substitutes: D Cherry, B Venter, L de Bruin, G Young, C Boyle, C Shiel, J van der Walt, M Currie.
Unavailable: Luke Crosbie, Nick Haining, Damien Hoyland, James Johnstone, Viliame Mata, Jamie Ritchie, Ben Toolis.
Big ask but great to see such a strong side. 2 from 2 in SA would give the team such a lift and belief. Bring on the lions.