URC: Ulster v Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn injury hands Tim Swiel his chance

Academy graduate Harry Paterson gets a start on the wing

Harry Paterson will start for Edinburgh for the first time this season on the wing against Ulster. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Harry Paterson will start for Edinburgh for the first time this season on the wing against Ulster. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.ukwww.craigwatson.co.uk

TIM SWIEL will get a chance to state his case for an extension of his short term contract which is understood to run out at the end of the calendar year, when he makes his Edinburgh debut at full-back against Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast tomorrow night.

The 30-year-old joined the capital club as World Cup cover in August but his availability at the start of the season was restricted by an ankle injury. He replaces Blair Kinghorn in the No 15 jersey, who had hoped to play one final game before joining Toulouse on Monday but has picked up a hip injury in training.

Meanwhile, academy graduate Harry Paterson – who made his Edinburgh debut against Ulster in June 2021 – is handed his first start of the season on the wing in place of Duhan van der Merwe, who suffered a concussion in training. Captain Ben Vellacott gets the nod at scrum-half, with Ali Price dropping to the bench.

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In the pack, Ewan Ashman starts at hooker in place of Dave Cherry, who has an ankle injury; while Jamie Hodgson and Marshall Sykes come into an all-changed second-row for the rested Grant Gilchrist and the benched Glen Young; and Viliame Mata returns from a concussion to start at No 8 in a revamped back-row which sees Luke Crosbie shift to blindside flanker with Jamie Ritchie switching to the openside.

Hamish Watson returns from a facial injury to take a spot on the bench.

“We’ve made a number of changes this week – a few unfortunately down to injury – but that’s really exciting for the guys who come in and get their opportunity,” said Edinburgh ‘senior’ coach Sean Everitt.

“We, and I’m sure Blair, would have liked to see him play his last game for the club, but he has picked up a minor knock in training and unfortunately misses out – it’s great to see Tim Swiel step up at full-back having been made to wait for his chance.

“We’re lucky enough to have strength and depth at other positional groups where we’ve been able to rotate, while we welcome back experienced players like Bill Mata, Jamie Hodgson, Hamish Watson and Mark Bennett, who will all be champing at the bit to make an impact on Saturday night.

“It’s set to be another massive test but one we’re definitely relishing. We travel to Belfast with plenty of quality in our ranks.”


Edinburgh Rugby (versus Ulster at Kingspan Stadium on Saturday at 5.15pm): T Swiel; H Paterson,  M Currie, J Lang, W Goosen; B Healy, B Vellacott©; P Schoeman, E Ashman, W Nel, M Sykes, J Hodgson, L Crosbie, J Ritchie, V Mata. Substitutes: A McBurney, R Hislop, J Sebastian, G Young, H Watson, A Price, C Scott, M Bennett.

Unavailable: Emiliano Boffelli (toe), Luan de Bruin (back), Dave Cherry (ankle), Darcy Graham (hip), Paddy Harrison (concussion), Jake Henry (knee), Mikey Jones (ankle), Blair Kinghorn (hip), Duhan van der Merwe (concussion), Cam Neild (knee), Sam Skinner (knee), Scott Steele (hip), Nathan Sweeney (hamstring).


Ulster: W Addison; R Baloucoune, J Hume, S McCloskey, J Stockdale; B Burns, J Cooney; S Kitshoff, T Stewart, T O’Toole, A O’Connor ©, K Treadwell, M Rea, N Timoney, J McNabney. Substitutes: J Andrew, A Warwick, M Moore, C Izuchukwu, D Ewers, N Doak, S Moore, B Moxham.

That was the month that was: November 2023

About David Barnes 4026 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.


  1. It was good to see Harry Paterson given a starting opportunity. With Edinburgh having such strong back 3 reserves over the past few years, it’s hard for young blood to come through. I thought he played well on his first start, albeit lacking that nous that only playing experience at the higher can give. Definitely a positive prospect.

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