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McCallum returns as Edinburgh host Leinster

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor

8 Feb 2018

MurrrayMcCallum

Edinburgh Head Coach Richard Cockerill has named his team ahead of tomorrow night’s crucial Guinness PRO14 encounter with three-times European champions Leinster at Myreside (Friday 9 February, kick-off 7.35pm).

The team selection sees the return of several key internationalists as Edinburgh look to secure their eighth consecutive home victory in all competitions.

Dougie Fife gets the nod at fullback after crossing the whitewash in Edinburgh’s final European Challenge Cup pool stage fixture against Stade Francais a fortnight ago. The Scotland Sevens star is joined in the back-three by wings Darcy Graham and Duhan van der Merwe.

After being named Man of the Match against Southern Kings in his last outing at Myreside, Scotland international Mark Bennett is named in the centre alongside Chris Dean – who makes a timely return to action following a four week lay-off due to injury.

Nathan Fowles – who last month marked his 50th appearance for the club against Stade Francais – and Jaco van der Walt form the half-back partnership.

In the front-row, Jordan Lay gets the nod at loosehead and packs down alongside Cameron Fenton and Murray McCallum, who returns to Edinburgh duty after making his Scotland debut against Wales in the NatWest 6 Nations last weekend.

The dynamic paring of Lewis Carmichael and club captain Fraser McKenzie form the second-row, whilst academy graduate Luke Crosbie returns to the starting XV to link up with Jamie Ritchie and Bill Mata in the back-row.

Edinburgh Head Coach, Richard Cockerill said: “This block of four games is going to be crucial for us. We’ve got to knock some big teams over.

“It will be a test for us mentally, as we’re missing a few senior guys with the national team, but we’ve played pretty well across the squad this year.

“Leinster present a huge challenge, because as they’ve shown throughout the season, they’re one of the best teams in the Guinness PRO14. But, we’ve worked hard again this week and are going into the game with a positive mindset around how we’re going to play.”

Edinburgh team to face Leinster in the Guinness PRO14 at Myreside on Friday 9 February (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC ALBA.

15. Dougie Fife (97)

14. Darcy Graham (5)
13. Mark Bennett (3)
12. Chris Dean (57)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (8)

10. Jaco van der Walt (8)
9. Nathan Fowles (50)

1. Jordan Lay (2)
2. Cameron Fenton (6)
3. Murray McCallum (33)
4. Fraser McKenzie (95) CAPTAIN
5. Lewis Carmichael (23)
6. Luke Crosbie (8)
7. Jamie Ritchie (44)
8. Bill Mata (28)

Replacements: 16. Neil Cochrane (66); 17. Rory Sutherland (58); 18. Matt Shields (6); 19. Magnus Bradbury (43); 20. John Hardie (25); 21. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (100); 22. Junior Rasolea (23); 23. Glenn Bryce (30)