Edinburgh reshuffle backline ahead of Scarlets showdown

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor
13 April 2018

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Head Coach Richard Cockerill has named his Edinburgh team to face reigning champions Scarlets in tomorrow afternoon’s crucial Guinness PRO14 encounter at BT Murrayfield (Saturday 14 April, kick-off 3.15pm).

The team selection includes four changes to side that faced Ulster last weekend. Jaco van der Walt, Chris Dean and James Johnstone replace Duncan Weir, Phil Burleigh and Mark Bennett in the backline, whilst Cornell du Preez comes in for the injured Bill Mata at number eight.

As Edinburgh seek to strengthen their pursuit of a place in the Guinness PRO14 Final Series, Cockerill has called on his side to show their true strength of character.

“We have the players and we have the characters to do it, but it’s all about belief and we have had that a lot throughout the season,” said the Head Coach.

“The key part is not to overthink things, train well and put yourself in the right place to play well.

“We are good enough to qualify for the Final Series and we have earned the right to be where we are through good performances. We are more than capable of beating Scarlets if we get it right.”

An unchanged back-three sees fullback Blair Kinghorn link up with wingers Dougie Fife and Duhan van der Merwe.

Scotland Sevens star Johnstone gets the nod at outside-centre alongside Dean in a revamped midfield.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne keeps his place at scrum-half and is partnered by Van der Walt, who returns to the starting XV after being an unused substitute in last weekend’s clash with Ulster.

Hooker Stuart McInally captains the side and is joined up-front by Jordan Lay and Simon Berghan. Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis are once again named in the second-row.

The only alteration to the back-row sees Du Preez slot in at number eight alongside Magnus Bradbury and Jamie Ritchie.


Edinburgh team to face Scarlets in the Guinness PRO14 at BT Murrayfield on Saturday 14 April (kick-off 3.15pm) – live on Sky Sports Action.

15. Blair Kinghorn (62)

14. Dougie Fife (104)
13. James Johnstone (15)
12. Chris Dean (64)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (15)

10. Jaco van der Walt (14)
9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (105)

1. Jordan Lay (9)
2. Stuart McInally (117)
3. Simon Berghan (46)
4. Ben Toolis (85)
5. Grant Gilchrist (117)
6. Magnus Bradbury (50)
7. Jamie Ritchie (46)
8. Cornell du Preez (102)

Replacements: 16. Neil Cochrane (73); 17. Allan Dell (41); 18. Murray McCallum (37); 19. Lewis Carmichael (30); 20. Luke Crosbie (11); 21. Nathan Fowles (56); 22. Duncan Weir (32); 23. Mark Bennett (9)

Jaco van der Walt

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