NEWS | Ritchie returns for trip to Ulster

Head Coach Richard Cockerill has made three changes to his Edinburgh team ahead of tomorrow night’s Guinness PR014 encounter with Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium (Friday 7 September, kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports.

Wing Duhan van der Merwe drops out of the starting XV due to injury and is replaced by club centurion Tom Brown, who makes his first competitive appearance since November 2017.

WP Nel gets the nod at tighthead, whilst Hamish Watson – who misses the match in Belfast due to the expected birth of his child – is replaced in the back-row by Jamie Ritchie. The 22-year-old openside makes his 50th appearance for the club.

On his selection, Cockerill, said: “We’ve worked really hard this week, especially on ball control and set-piece, making sure we execute in the right areas. We need to be better across the board, especially away from home.

“We know that the Ulster crowd will be vocal and will be behind their team, so we need to control the game and field position, keeping that support as quiet as possible.”

Blair Kinghorn is named at fullback after finding the scoresheet against Ospreys last weekend and is joined in the back-three by Dougie Fife and Brown.

An unchanged centre pairing sees Mark Bennett link up with Matt Scott in midfield, whilst summer recruits Henry Pyrgos and Simon Hickey continue their half-back partnership.

Up front, hooker Stuart McInally skippers the side and packs down alongside Pierre Schoeman and 22-times capped Scotland international, Nel.

Locks Ben Toolis and Grant Gilchrist are once again named in the boiler room, whilst Ritchie, Luke Hamilton and Fijian number eight, Bill Mata, form a physical back-row trio.

 

Edinburgh team to face Ulster at The Kingspan Stadium in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday 7 September (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports.

 

15. Blair Kinghorn (65)

 

14. Dougie Fife (108)

13. Mark Bennett (13)

12. Matt Scott (75)

11. Tom Brown (113)

 

10. Simon Hickey (1)

9. Henry Pyrgos (1)

 

1. Pierre Schoeman (1)

2. Stuart McInally (121) CAPTAIN

3. WP Nel (116)

4. Ben Toolis (89)

5. Grant Gilchrist (121)

6. Luke Hamilton (1)

7. Jamie Ritchie (49)

8. Bill Mata (38)

 

Replacements: 16. Ross Ford (180); 17. Allan Dell (45); 18. Murray McCallum (39); 19. Fraser McKenzie (101); 20. Luke Crosbie (12); 21. Sean Kennedy (61); 22. Jaco van der Walt (18); 23. James Johnstone (19)