NEWS | Toolis and Graham return for trip to Dragons

Scotland internationalists Ben Toolis and Darcy Graham return to Edinburgh’s starting XV as Head Coach Richard Cockerill makes three changes to his team to face Dragons at Rodney Parade in the Guinness PRO14 this Sunday (25 November, kick-off 5.30pm) – live on Premier Sports and S4C.

The capped duo are named in the starting line-up alongside Italian international prop Pietro Ceccarelli, who makes his first start for the club after featuring from the bench against Zebre and Scarlets in recent weeks.

Ahead of the fixture – which sees Edinburgh return to Guinness PRO14 duty following a two-week international break - Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “We had a few days off after the win over Scarlets, but Dragons is a really big game for us.

“There’s a lot of noise that it’s a really important game for them, but it’s a really important game for us too. With Scarlets playing Ulster, they’ll knock each other off, so If we can get a positive result at Dragons then it puts us right in the mix for the playoffs.

“I expect us to perform well and I expect us to win on Sunday. We’ve got a good group of guys who showed against a vastly experienced Scarlets team that we can stand up and play. We need to keep up those levels of intensity and physicality this weekend."

In the back-three, Dougie Fife retains his place at fullback and starts alongside wingers Duhan van der Merwe and Graham, with the latter returning to domestic action after making his Scotland debut against Wales earlier this month.

An unchanged centre pairing sees Chris Dean and James Johnstone once again line-up in midfield, whilst Henry Pyrgos – who is named captain – and Simon Hickey continue at half-back.

In the front-row, hooker Ross ford packs down alongside props Pierre Schoeman – a try-scorer in the recent win over Scarlets – and Ceccarelli, with up-and-coming locks James Hodgson and Callum Hunter-Hill named in the second-row.

The inclusion of Scotland internationalist, Toolis – who is named at the unfamiliar position of blindside flanker – is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back-row as Ally Miller and Luke Hamilton keep their place in the starting XV.


Edinburgh team to face Dragons at Rodney Parade in the Guinness PRO14 on Sunday 25 November, kick-off 5.30pm – live on Premier Sports and S4C.


15. Dougie Fife (116)


14. Darcy Graham (10)

13. James Johnstone (27)

12. Chris Dean (73)

11. Duhan van der Merwe (25)


10. Simon Hickey (9)

9. Henry Pyrgos (9) CAPTAIN


1. Pierre Schoeman (6)

2. Ross Ford (187)

3. Pietro Ceccarelli (2)

4. James Hodgson (2)

5. Callum Hunter-Hill (4)

6. Ben Toolis (96)

7. Ally Miller (1)

8. Luke Hamilton (8)


Replacements: 16. David Cherry (4); 17. Rory Sutherland (68); 18. Murray McCallum (44); 19. Callum Atkinson (2); 20. Lewis Wynne (1); 21. Sean Kennedy (65); 22. Jaco van der Walt (22); 23. Juan Pablo Socino (6)


Unavailable due to international selection: Allan Dell; Stuart McInally; WP Nel; Jamie Ritchie; Hamish Watson; Blair Kinghorn; Simon Berghan; Grant Gilchrist; Bill Mata

Unavailable due to injury: Cameron Fenton; Fraser McKenzie; Lewis Carmichael; John Barclay; Magnus Bradbury; Senitiki Nayalo; Luke Crosbie; Mungo Mason; Matt Scott; Mark Bennett; Damien Hoyland