Experienced quartet return for Treviso trip
Experienced Edinburgh Rugby quartet Stuart McInally, James Lang, Henry Immelman and Ben Vellacott return from injury for tomorrow afternoon’s trip to face Benetton Rugby at Stadio Monigo in the BKT United Rugby Championship (26 November, kick-off 1pm BST/2pm local) – live on Viaplay.
McInally (hooker), Lang (inside centre) and Immelman (full-back) all start the Round 8 match-up in Treviso, while Vellacott (scrum-half) is once again fit to be named on the bench.
Head Coach Mike Blair makes five further changes to the side that claimed a road win in Cardiff last month as Henry Pyrgos (scrum-half), Angus Williams (tighthead) and Marshall Sykes (lock) all get the nod for Saturday’s Scottish x Italian Shield clash.
Meanwhile Scotland duo Damien Hoyland (wing) and Nick Haining (back-row) are both named starters having returned from Scotland duty.
Ahead of the trip to Italy, Blair said: “While it’s been great to get a period of rest where we’ve been able to get guys fit, work on certain aspects of our game and take stock on the season so far, we’re hugely excited to return to action this weekend as we take on a quality Benetton side.
“As a team, we were really happy with how we played in large parts in both wins at Zebre and Cardiff, and we know we’ll need to match those levels of intensity and work rate for the full 80 minutes in Treviso.
“It’s great that we’re able to integrate some of our international contingent back into the squad, with those players bringing added quality to a group who’ve performed really well in recent weeks.”
Immelman returns at full-back as Hoyland and Wes Goosen – a try-scorer on his last visit to Italy – start on opposite wings.
Outside centre and academy graduate Matt Currie links up with Lang in midfield, while Pyrgos and stand-off Charlie Savala combine at half-back.
Hooker McInally packs down alongside prop pairing Boan Venter (loosehead) and Williams, as Scotland lock duo Sykes and Jamie Hodgson complete the tight-five.
In the back-row, captain Luke Crosbie retains his place at openside, while Haining’s inclusion at blindside flanker means Ben Muncaster switches to number 8.
Loosehead prop Jamie Jack – signed from Ampthill RFC last season – is named on the bench and could make his Edinburgh Rugby debut if called upon.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face Benetton Rugby at Stadio Monigo in the BKT United Rugby Championship
Saturday 26 November (kick-off 1pm BST/2pm local) – live on Viaplay.
15. Henry Immelman (21)
14. Damien Hoyland (98)
13. Matt Currie (16)
12. James Lang (24)
11. Wes Goosen (2)
10. Charlie Savala (18)
9. Henry Pyrgos (76)
1. Boan Venter (32)
2. Stuart McInally (169)
3. Angus Williams (15)
4. Marshall Sykes (27)
5. Jamie Hodgson (44)
6. Nick Haining (29)
7. Luke Crosbie (75) CAPTAIN
8. Ben Muncaster (21)
16. Paddy Harrison (6)
17. Jamie Jack*
18. Lee-Roy Atalifo (27)
19. Glen Young (15)
20. Connor Boyle (24)
21. Ben Vellacott (24)
22. Jaco van der Walt (91)
23. Chris Dean (127)
Unavailable: Nick Auterac, Dave Cherry, Cammy Hutchison, Adam McBurney, Sam Skinner, Hamish Watson.
Internationalists: Mark Bennett, Emiliano Boffelli, Grant Gilchrist, Darcy Graham, Blair Kinghorn, Viliame Mata, WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie, Pierre Schoeman, Duhan van der Merwe.
*Edinburgh Rugby debut