BLAIR KINGHORN will make his first Edinburgh start of the season after recovering from a sickness bug which kept him out of last weekend’s defeat against the Vodacom Bill to take over the No 10 jersey for tomorrow [Saturday] lunch-time’s clash against the DHL Stormers in Cape Town.
His half-back partner will be Ben Vellacott, with Henry Pyrgos moving to the bench, while the rest of the backline is unchanged for last week.
In the pack, another club and country stalwart in Stuart McInally swaps in for fellow Scotland cap Dave Cherry at hooker, while Nick Haining and Hamish Watson are elevated from the bench to replace Viliame Mata at No 8 and Luke Crosbie at opens-side flanker in the starting XV
“After a really physical match against Vodacom Bulls, we’ve returned to Cape Town where we’ve had a great week of training, with the squad fully focussed for another massive test against last season’s Champions,” said head coach Mike Blair.
“We obviously met the Stormers in Cape Town in last year’s Quarter-Final so we know just how good they are – especially at home – but we’re playing with confidence and our squad will be fired up to improve on last weekend’s performance.
“It’s a huge challenge but one we’re relishing as we take on the URC Champions in their own backyard.”
Meanwhile, Springbok hooker Joseph Dweba will make his Stormers debut in this match, with fellow South African internationalists Damian Willemse, Deon Fourie and Salmaan Moerat also added to the starting line-up, with Herschel Jantjies among the replacements and Marvin Orie taking the captaincy.
“It is great to have a few of our top players back from national duty and they have all slotted in seamlessly this week,” said Stormers head coach John Dobson. “We are all looking forward to getting out there at DHL Stadium in an early game which should be a great occasion for everyone.”
Edinburgh (v the DHL Stormers at DHL Stadium, Saturday 1pm British time, 2pm local): H Immelman; D Graham, M Bennett, J Lang, D Hoyland; B Kinghorn, B Vellacott; P Schoeman, S McInally, W Nel, S Skinner, G Gilchrist (co-captain), J Ritchie (co-captain), H Watson, N Haining. Substitutes: D Cherry, B Venter, L de Bruin, G Young B Muncaster, H Pyrgos, C Savala, C Dean.
Unavailable: Luke Crosbie, Wes Goosen, Jaco van der Walt.
DHL Stormers:C Blommetjies; S Hartzenberg, D du Plessis, D Willemse, A Davids; M Libbok, P de Wet; A Vermaak, J Dweba, N Fouche, S Moerat, M Orie (captain), D Fourie, H Dayimani, E Roos. Substitutes: A Venter, B Harris, S Sandi, A Smith, E van Rhyn, J Pokomela, H Jantjies, S Mngomezulu.