Mike Blair names Edinburgh team for final pre-season hit-out versus Benetton

Sam Skinner set to debut from bench, while Viliame Mata and Nick Haining are in line for comebacks after lengthy injury lay-offs

Glen Young will start in the second-row for Edinburgh in their final pre-season hit-out versus Benetton. Image: Craig Watson
Glen Young will start in the second-row for Edinburgh in their final pre-season hit-out versus Benetton. Image: Craig Watson

EDINBURGH head coach Mike Blair has added Scotland internationals Damien Hoyland, Jaco van der Walt, Ben Vellacott, Dave Cherry, Glen Young and Luke Crosbie to his starting line-up ahead of the team’s final pre-season hit-out against Benetton in  Treviso.

Flanker Jamie Ritchie once again skippers the capital side after managing half an hour in his comeback from injury game against London Scottish last weekend, while fellow Scotland cap Sam Skinner is set to make his debut off the bench following a summer move north from Exeter Chiefs. No 8s Viliame Mata (knee) and Nick Haining (shoulder) are also likely to make appearances as replacements following lengthy injury lay-offs.

Several frontline Scotland internationals who toured Argentina this summer, such as Pierre Schoeman, Grant Gilchhrist, Hamish Watson, Blair Kinghorn, Mark Bennett and Darcy Graham, are still missing.


Schools/Youth Rugby: Mackie up and running with win over GHA

Southern Knights scrum-half Doug Crawford on supporting young Borderers through rugby

BKT URC plan new cup competition but play down prospect of league games in Qatar or US


“Taking on Benetton is always a great challenge, especially away from home at Stadio Monigo, so tomorrow night’s friendly will be a great opportunity to test our squad against quality opposition that we know well from league action,” said Blair.

“We’re really pleased we can integrate several of our Scotland players back into the squad and it will stand us in good stead as we look ahead to our URC opener against Dragons RFC at DAM Health Stadium in little over a week’s time.

“A lot of our younger academy players will be champing at the bit to make an impact from the bench, while it’s brilliant that we can also welcome back Bill [Mata] who has worked incredibly hard to get back fit for the start of the new season – he’s raring to go.”

 

Edinburgh (v Benetton at Stadio Monigo, Friday 7.30pm): H ImmelmaN; J  Blain, M Currie, C Dean (VC), D Hoyland; J van der Walt, B Vellacott; N Auterac, D Cherry, A Williams, M Sykes, G Young, J Ritchie©, L Crosbie, B Muncaster.

Replacements: Boan Venter, Jamie Jack, Adam McBurney, Patrick Harrison, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Dan Gamble, Pierce Phillips, Sam Skinner, Jamie Hodgson, Nick Haining, Connor Boyle, Bill Mata, Henry Pyrgos, Charlie Shiel, Charlie Savala, Jake Henry, Cammy Hutchison, Cammy Scott, Harry Paterson.

Unavailable due to injury: Luan de Bruin, WP Nel, Mesu Kunavula, Wes Goosen


Schools/Youth Rugby: Mackie up and running with win over GHA

About David Barnes 3963 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.