Boffelli returns for Heineken Champions Cup opener

Boffelli returns for Heineken Champions Cup opener

Argentine internationalist Emiliano Boffelli returns to Edinburgh Rugby’s starting XV for Sunday’s Heineken Champions Cup opener against Saracens at StoneX Stadium (11 December, kick-off 3.15pm) – live on ITV and BT Sport.

Boffelli – who didn’t feature against Munster last weekend – is named at full-back with Wes Goosen switching to the wing in place of the injured Darcy Graham (knee).

The capital side make one further change to the backline as James Lang (inside centre) comes in for Chris Dean. The club centurion remains in the graduated return to play protocol.

Scotland hooker Stuart McInally is once again fit and starts in the only alteration to the starting pack.

Elsewhere, wing Damien Hoyland is named among the replacements and could make his 100th appearance if called upon.

Local star Hoyland is one of Edinburgh’s longest tenured players and would become the club’s 38th centurion, joining capital flyers such as Derrick Lee, Simon Webster and Tim Visser in reaching the historic milestone.

Ahead of the clash of capitals, Head Coach Mike Blair said: “This is a massive challenge for us but it’s one this group of players are really savouring – and we’ve felt that in training all week.

“The players have been switched on, alert, ready to play and eager to make amends after the disappointment of Munster last weekend.”

He added: “We are well aware of the quality Saracens possess. They are a side full of confidence with options across the park, but we’ve got plenty of quality and experience in our squad too.

“We’re really excited to be back at the top table of European rugby and we’re looking forward to representing the city and our supporters in North London this Sunday.”

An experienced back-three unit sees Boffelli start at full-back alongside wingers Goosen and Duhan van der Merwe.

Lang and fellow Scotland internationalist Mark Bennett link-up in midfield as stand-off Blair Kinghorn and scrum-half Ben Vellacott once again combine at half-back.

Hooker McInally packs down alongside props Pierre Schoeman (loosedhead) and Luan de Bruin (tighthead) as Scotland locks Jamie Hodgson and Grant Gilchrist complete front-five.

An unchanged back-row sees Fijian star Viliame Mata (number 8) start alongside Scotland skipper Jamie Ritchie (blindside) and Luke Crosbie (openside).


Edinburgh Rugby team to face Saracens at StoneX Stadium in the Heineken Champions Cup
Sunday 11 December (kick-off 3.15pm) – live on ITV and BT Sport

15. Emiliano Boffelli (22)

14. Wes Goosen (4)
13. Mark Bennett (76)
12. James Lang (26)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (69)

10. Blair Kinghorn (124)
9. Ben Vellacott (26)

1. Pierre Schoeman (89)
2. Stuart McInally (170)
3. Luan de Bruin (15)
4. Jamie Hodgson (46)
5. Grant Gilchrist (180)
6. Jamie Ritchie (89)
7. Luke Crosbie (77)
8. Viliame Mata (102)


16. Patrick Harrison (8)
17. Boan Venter (34)
18. WP Nel (178)
19. Marshall Sykes (29)
20. Ben Muncaster (22)
21. Charlie Shiel (48)
22. Charlie Savala (19)
23. Damien Hoyland (99)

Unavailable: Dave Cherry, Chris Dean, Darcy Graham, Nick Haining, Cammy Hutchison, Henry Immelman, Adam McBurney, Sam Skinner, Hamish Watson.

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