Five new faces for Dragons opener
Newly recruited Scotland international stand-off Ben Healy will make his first Edinburgh Rugby appearance as one of five debutants named in the starting XV to face Dragons RFC in tomorrow afternoon’s BKT United Rugby Championship opener at Rodney Parade (Saturday 21 October, kick-off 3.05pm) – live on Viaplay.
Healy – who joined the club from BKT URC rivals and title winners Munster in the summer – gets the nod as GB Sevens wing Ross McCann, Javan Sebastian (prop), Cameron Neild and Tom Dodd (both back-row) are all handed starting debuts by Senior Coach Sean Everitt – also taking charge of his first competitive fixture.
Edinburgh Rugby also welcome the return of Scotland internationalists Dave Cherry (hooker), Sam Skinner and Luke Crosbie (both back-row) to the matchday 23, while current GB Sevens and former Boroughmuir Bears wing Jordan Edmunds is named among the replacements, where he is in line to make his Edinburgh debut.
Ahead of the match-up in Newport, Everitt said: “There has definitely been a buzz about the squad this week. They are excited to get back onto the field and get the campaign started after such a long off-season programme.
“We’re delighted to see a number of players make their debut for the club. It’s always an honour pulling on the jersey for the first time, and it will be a special occasion for those representing the city tomorrow afternoon.
“The players said they are going to be a hard-working, resilient, physical and abrasive team – and that’s what we need to see on Saturday afternoon in Newport, because that’s what it’s going to take to win the game.
“Dragons possess a hugely talented squad and, like us, they’ll be eager to get their season off to the best possible start. We’re excited for the test and the squad will be ready to go come kick-off in Wales.”
Cammy Scott, 22, is named at full-back as Nathan Sweeney misses out through injury. Wes Goosen and McCann are selected on opposite wings.
Centres Matt Currie and Mark Bennett are paired in midfield as scrum-half Ben Vellacott – named skipper – and Healy link-up at half-back.
Hooker Cherry packs down alongside props Sebastian – returning to Wales following a summer move from Scarlets – and Venter up front. Scotland locks Glen Young and Jamie Hodgson continue in the second-row and complete the tight-five.
Skinner returns to the pack at blindside flanker as Neild (openside) and Dodd (number 8) both make their debuts in the back-row.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face Dragons RFC at Rodney Parade in the BKT United Rugby Championship
Saturday 21 October (kick-off 3.05pm) – live on Viaplay
15. Cammy Scott (3)
14. Ross McCann*
13. Mark Bennett (88)
12. Matt Currie (18)
11. Wes Goosen (10)
10. Ben Healy*
9. Ben Vellacott (38) CAPTAIN
1. Boan Venter (46)
2. Dave Cherry (71)
3. Javan Sebastian*
4. Glen Young (22)
5. Jamie Hodgson (53)
6. Sam Skinner (14)
7. Cameron Neild*
8. Tom Dodd*
16. Adam McBurney (20)
17 Robin Hislop (19)
18. Angus Williams (20)
19. Marshall Sykes (41)
20. Luke Crosbie (84)
21. Charlie Shiel (56)
22. Chris Dean (135)
23. Jordan Edmunds*
Unavailable: Luan de Bruin (back), Darcy Graham (hip), Mikey Jones (ankle), James Lang (calf), Ben Muncaster (knee), Scott Steele (hip), Nathan Sweeney (hamstring), Tim Swiel (ankle), Jamie Ritchie (shoulder).
International rest: Ewan Ashman, Grant Gilchrist, Blair Kinghorn, Viliame Mata, Duhan van der Merwe, WP Nel, Pierre Schoeman, Hamish Watson.
International selection: Emiliano Boffelli