Bennett returns for Scarlets test

Bennett returns for Scarlets test

Scotland international centre Mark Bennett is named in the starting line-up as Edinburgh travel to face Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets in the Guinness PRO14 this Saturday (6 April, kick-off 6.45pm) – live on Premier Sports.

Bennett replaces the injured James Johnstone at outside centre in an otherwise unchanged starting XV that faced Munster at BT Murrayfield in the Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final last weekend.

Ahead of the fixture, Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “We’ve got three massive games, starting at Scarlets this weekend. We want to be back in the Heineken Champions Cup and we want to qualify by right.

“They’re all exciting games and even more so if you win them. We’ve got to test ourselves. Nothing has changed from the start of the year.

“We dropped short last weekend and now we’ve got three huge games. If we win them all, we’ll probably finish in the top-three, we’re in the play-offs and we’re in to Europe. If we drop one of those, we’re going to have to rely on other people.

“Scarlets will have a lot of that Welsh team coming back in – especially in that backline and in the front row. So, we expect a very tough game and whoever wins it will either stay above or jump above the other. It’s going to be a very tough contest.”

Darcy Graham is once again named at fullback, with Damien Hoyland and top try-scorer Duhan van der Merwe continuing on the wings.

Chris Dean – a try scorer in last weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final – is partnered by Bennett in midfield, with the outside-centre making his sixth appearance of the season after returning from injury in February.

Stand-off Jaco van der Walt – who has made 29 of his last 32 kicks at goal in the Guinness PRO14 – once again links-up with scrum-half Henry Pyrgos at half-back

An unchanged front-row sees captain Stuart McInally pack down alongside Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel, while club centurions Ben Toolis and Grant Gilchrist continue in the second-row.

An all-action back row is once again anchored by Fijian No. 8 Viliame Mata, with Scotland stars John Barclay and Hamish Watson named at blindside and openside flanker respectively.

Edinburgh team to face Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets in the Guinness PRO14 on Saturday 6 April (kick-off 6.45pm)
Live on Premier Sports

15. Darcy Graham (21)

14. Damien Hoyland (61)
13. Mark Bennett (17)
12. Chris Dean (85)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (38)

10. Jaco van der Walt (37)
9. Henry Pyrgos (21)

1. Pierre Schoeman (20)
2. Stuart McInally (134) CAPTAIN
3. WP Nel (131)
4. Ben Toolis (107)
5. Grant Gilchrist (134)
6. John Barclay (2)
7. Hamish Watson (97)
8. Viliame Mata (57)

Replacements: 16. Ross Ford (196); 17. Rory Sutherland (73); 18. Simon Berghan (64); 19. Callum Hunter-Hill (16) 20. Magnus Bradbury (62); 21. Charlie Shiel (4); 22. Simon Hickey (17); 23. Matt Scott (81)

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