Newcastle v Edinburgh: Cockerill makes two changes for trip to Kingston Park

John Hardie named in Newcastle Falcons side

Luke Hamilton
Luke Hamilton has replaced the injured Jamie Ritchie in Edinburgh's back-row for Sunday. Image: © Craig Watson -

RCHARD COCKERILL has made only two changes to his Edinburgh side which defeated Newcastle Falcons last Friday night to go top of pool five in the European Champions Cup, ahead of Sunday afternoon’s return leg at Kingston Park, with Scotland internationalists Allan Dell and Luke Hamilton elevated to the starting line-up in place of Pierre Schoeman (who drops to the bench) and Jamie Ritchie (who is injured), respectively.

Meanwhile, former Edinburgh flanker John Hardie has been named in the Falcons team for this clash, while Gary Graham, who trained with the Scotland squad during November, is on the bench.

“We’ve got everything to play for. Newcastle will be a lot stronger and obviously hurting from the situation last weekend, as well as the result,” said the Edinburgh head coach.

“But, we’ve just go to keep concentrating on what we’re doing. We know that if we get it right, we can beat them. They had a lot of very good players playing last weekend and they’ll have some good players to come back into that squad this week.

“Whatever team they put out we’ve just got to do our best and leave our best game out on the field.”

More to follow …

Edinburgh team to face Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park in the Heineken Champions Cup on Sunday 16 December, kick-off 3.15pm – live on BT Sport: Blair Kinghorn; Darcy Graham, James Johnstone, Chris Dean, Duhan van der Merwe; Jaco van der Walt, Henry Pyrgos; Allan Dell, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, Luke Hamilton, Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata. Replacements: Dave Cherry, Pierre Schoeman, Simon Berghan, Callum Hunter-HilL, Luke Crosbie, Nathan Fowles, Simon Hickey, Juan Pablo Socino.

Newcastle Falcons: Simon Hammersley; Vereniki Goneva, Chris Harris, Johnny Williams, Sinoti Sinoti; Toby Flood, Sonatane Takulua; Sam Lockwood, Kyle Cooper, Trevor Davison, Calum Green,  Tevita Cavubati, Mark Wilson, John Hardie,  Nemani Nagusa. Replacements: George McGuigan,  Sami Mavinga, Jack Payne, Glen Young,  Gary Graham,  Sam Stuart, Brett Connon, Tom Arscott.

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About David Barnes 4004 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.