EMILIANO BOFFELLI will make his first Edinburgh appearance since starring for Argentina during the Autumn Test Series in Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup opener against Saracens at the StoneX Stadium. He has been named at full-back with Wes Goosen shifting to the wing in place of injured Darcy Graham.
The other backline change sees James Lang replace the concussed Chris Dean at inside-centre, while fit agains Stuart McInally replaces Patrick Harrison at hooker in the only change to the pack. Damien Hoyland is in line for his 100th appearance for the club off the bench.
“This is a massive challenge for us but it’s one this group of players are really savouring – and we’ve felt that in training all week,” said head coach Mike Blair. “The players have been switched on, alert, ready to play and eager to make amends after the disappointment of Munster last weekend.”
“We are well aware of the quality Saracens possess,” he continued. “They are a side full of confidence with options across the park, but we’ve got plenty of quality and experience in our squad too.
“We’re really excited to be back at the top table of European rugby and we’re looking forward to representing the city and our supporters in North London this Sunday.”
Edinburgh (v Saracens at StoneX Stadium, Sunday 3.15pm): E Boffelli; W Goosen, M Bennett, J Lang, D van der Merwe; B Kinghorn, B Vellacott; P Schoeman, S McInally, L de Bruin, J Hodgson, G Gilchrist (co-captain), J Ritchie (co-captain), L Crosbie, V Mata. Substitutes: P Harrison, B Venter, W Nel, M Sykes, B Mancaste, C Shiel, C Savala, D Hoyland.
Unavailable: Dave Cherry, Chris Dean, Darcy Graham, Nick Haining, Cammy Hutchison, Henry Immelman, Adam McBurney, Sam Skinner, Hamish Watson.
Saracens: E Daly; A Lewington, A Lozowski, N Tompkins, S Maitland; O Farrell©, I van Zyl; M Vunipola, J George, M Riccioni, M Itoje, H Wizard, T McFarland, B Earl, B Vunipola. Substitutes: T Woolstencroft, E Mawi, A Clarey, C Hunter-Hill, A Christie, J Wray, A Davies, A Goode.