Ospreys v Edinburgh: Scotland stars rested for trip to Swansea

Van der Walt and Pyrgos form half-back partnership as capital club aim to stay ahead of the pack in the URC

Henry Pyrgos
Henry Pyrgos's late try was not enough to stop Edinburgh losing to Munster. Image: © Craig Watson. www.craigwatson.co.uk.

WITH the Calcutta Cup match coming up in eight days, Edinburgh coach Mike Blair has omitted many of his big names from his Edinburgh side to play the Ospreys tomorrow. Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie, Grant Gilchrist, Pierre Schoeman and Willem Nel are among the regulars in the pack who have been rested, while behind the scrum Blair Kinghorn gets the weekend off too.

Jaco van der Walt returns at stand-off in place of Kinghorn and will partner Henry Pyrgos, who is in instead of Charlie Shiel. Besides the two half-backs, the other changes to the back division see Henry Immelman return at full-back, with Emilio Boffelli moving to the wing in place of Freddie Owsley, and Matt Currie replace Mark Bennett in the 13 jersey.

In all, there are eight personnel alterations and that positional swap for Boffelli from the team that began last week’s thumping Challenge Cup win over Brive. Boan Venter replaces Schoeman at loosehead, Marshall Sykes takes over from Gilchrist at lock, and in the back row Magnus Bradbury and Connor Boyle replace Ritchie and Watson.


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Eight players are listed as unavailable: Luan de Bruin, Luke Crosbie, Nick Haining, Damien Hoyland, James Lang, Bill Mata, Ramiro Moyano and Ben Toolis.

Edinburgh are four points clear at the top of the URC, while the Ospreys are sixth, but Blair expects this game to be a stern test of his team’s credentials. “It’s great to head into this game off the back of a really encouraging win against Brive, where we did a lot of positive things in both attack and defence,” he said after announcing his team. “However, as a group we know that Ospreys will be a far tougher challenge, especially away from home.

“The Ospreys squad is filled with both experienced internationalists and exciting up-and-coming talent, while they’ll be looking for a reaction following a couple of tough losses in Europe.

“There is a lot of competition for places in the squad where guys are constantly putting their hand up in training, so we’re excited to make a few changes to the line-up. A number of players have been given their opportunity in what is another massive league fixture for us.”

 

Edinburgh (v Ospreys at Swansea.com Stadium, Saturday 5.15pm): H Immelman; D Graham, T Currie, C Hutchison, E Boffelli; J van der Walt, H Pyrgos; B Venter, D Cherry, A Williams, M Sykes, G Young, M Bradbury, C Boyle, M Kunavula. Substitutes: A McBurney, H Courtney, L Atalifo, J Hodgson, B Muncaster, B Vellacott, C Savala, M Bennett.


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About Stuart Bathgate 1156 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.

2 Comments

  1. Not sure MB a would have a lot of choice in the matter. Perhaps the most interesting selections are Darcy Graham starting and Ben Vellacott on the bench?

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