07/11/2019 – Guinness PRO14 Communications – Scotland stars return to face Dragons

Edinburgh Rugby welcome back several Scotland internationalists to their squad for tomorrow night’s Guinness PRO14 match against Dragons at BT Murrayfield (Friday 8 November, kick-off 7.35pm).

Scotland stars John Barclay and Ben Toolis are both named in the starting XV, while Simon Berghan, Grant Gilchrist and Jamie Ritchie are all selected among the replacements.

Winger Duhan van der Merwe - who grabbed a hat-trick on his last outing – is recalled after missing last weekend’s defeat to Benetton, as stand-off Simon Hickey returns to the starting line-up for the second consecutive home fixture.

Ahead of the match, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “While we were obviously disappointed at the Benetton loss, it works both ways.

“We’re never as bad as we think, but we also certainly weren’t as good as we thought from the Scarlets game the previous week.

“We have had a good review this week and we have made sure there’s no misunderstanding around parts of our game where we need to get better.

“We want a good win tomorrow night and we’re looking forward to being back in front of our home support at BT Murrayfield. With five points, we would be starting to get ourselves into the play-off mix, if not cemented in the mix.”

The inclusion of Van der Merwe on the wing is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back-three as Blair Kinghorn and Fijian international Eroni Sau retain their place in the starting line-up.

Outside centre Mark Bennett – who has ran in four tries at BT Murrayfield so far this season – is once again paired with Matt Scott in midfield, while scrum-half Henry Pyrgos links up with Hickey at half-back.

Loosehead prop, Pierre Schoeman, returns to the front-row alongside hooker and compatriot Mike Willemse and Italian international, Pietro Ceccarelli.

Lock, Toolis – who makes his first appearance of the season – packs down alongside Lewis Carmichael in the second row, with a back-row trio of Barclay, Luke Crosbie – a try-scorer against Benetton – and Magnus Bradbury forming the remainder of the pack.

Edinburgh Rugby team to face Dragons at BT Murrayfield in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday 8 November (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports

15. Blair Kinghorn (79)
14. Eroni Sau (2)
13. Mark Bennett (25)
12. Matt Scott (86)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (45)
10. Simon Hickey (22)
9. Henry Pyrgos (26) CAPTAIN

1. Pierre Schoeman (28)
2. Mike Willemse (5)
3. Pietro Ceccarelli (15)
4. Lewis Carmichael (36)
5. Ben Toolis (110)
6. John Barclay (5)
7. Luke Crosbie (31)
8. Magnus Bradbury (67)

Replacements: 16. Cameron Fenton (15) 17. Rory Sutherland (75) 18. Simon Berghan (67) 19. Grant Gilchrist (137) 20. Jamie Ritchie. (62) 21 Charlie Shiel (10) 22. Jaco van der Walt (44) 23. George Taylor (9)

Unavailable due to injury: David Cherry, Murray Douglas, Fraser McKenzie, Nick Haining, Darcy Graham, Darryl Marfo, Hamish Watson, Chris Dean, Ruan Steenkamp, Nic Groom