Scotland stars return as Edinburgh host Munster

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor
15 March 2018

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Edinburgh welcome back two NatWest 6 Nations stars for tomorrow night’s pivotal Guinness PRO14 encounter with Munster at BT Murrayfield (Friday 16 March, kick-off 7.35pm).

Ben Toolis

Scotland internationalists Ben Toolis – who starts in the second-row – and Simon Berghan – who is named amongst the replacements – both return to club action as Edinburgh look to continue their run of good form which has seen the club win five of its last six league fixtures to climb into the Guinness PRO14 play-off positions.

Dougie Fife is named at fullback after making his 100th appearance for the club in last month’s victory over Dragons. The Scotland Sevens star is joined in the back-three by wings Duhan van der Merwe and Jason Harries.

In the midfield, Chris Dean is partnered by Mark Bennett, who returns to the fray after missing the bonus-point victory against Dragons three-weeks ago. An unchanged half-back partnership sees Jaco van der Walt once again link-up with Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.

In the front-row, experienced hooker Neil Cochrane is joined by Murray McCallum and Samoan international Jordan Lay.

Club Captain Fraser McKenzie keeps his place in the second-row, whilst Toolis returns to the starting XV after missing the last four fixtures due to international duties.

A powerful back-row trio sees Magnus Bradbury and John Hardie link-up with Bill Mata, who is once again named at number eight following his Man of the Match performance in the impressive win over the Dragons at Ebbw Vale’s Eugene Cross Park.

Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “Munster are a very good side. They should come here and they should win – but we’ll see.

“We’ll be well prepped and motivated for the game – as I’m sure they’ll be – and it’s another good test for us.

“Munster have probably got a good enough squad to beat us, but were playing well, we’re confident and we’ll go out there and try and improve on last week – that’s where we are at the moment.

“We’ve got a hell of a run-in now until the end of the season to try and do something with the year.

“We’ve got some big games to try and win. We want to be in the play-offs and we’ve given ourselves a great opportunity to be in the mix.”

Edinburgh team to face Munster in the Guinness PRO14 at BT Murrayfield on Friday 16 March (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC Two Scotland.

15. Dougie Fife (100)

14. Jason Harries (8)
13. Mark Bennett (5)
12. Chris Dean (60)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (11)

10. Jaco van der Walt (11)
9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (103)

1. Jordan Lay (5)
2. Neil Cochrane (69)
3. Murray McCallum (36)
4. Fraser McKenzie (98) CAPTAIN
5. Ben Toolis (82)
6. Magnus Bradbury (46)
7. John Hardie (27)
8. Bill Mata (31)

Replacements: 16. Cameron Fenton (9); 17. Rory Sutherland (60); 18. Simon Berghan (42); 19. Lewis Carmichael (26); 20. Cornell du Preez (98); 21. Nathan Fowles (53); 22. Duncan Weir (28); 23. Junior Rasolea (25).

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