Internationalists return for Hive Stadium opener

Internationalists return for Hive Stadium opener

Edinburgh Rugby welcome the return of six internationalists to its matchday squad for tomorrow evening’s BKT United Rugby Championship home opener against Emirates Lions at Hive Stadium (Saturday 28 October, kick-off 5pm) – live on Viaplay. 

Blair Kinghorn (full-back), Grant Gilchrist (lock), Hamish Watson (openside flanker), Viliame Mata (number 8), Ewan Ashman (replacement hooker) and WP Nel (replacement tighthead prop) are all named in the capital side’s 23 for the Round 2 clash.

Sean Everitt’s side are looking to make it two-from-two after last weekend’s opening round victory away to Dragons RFC, with the capital side returning to competitive action at Hive Stadium for the first time since April.

On his team selection, Senior Coach Sean Everitt said: “We’re delighted to welcome back a number of internationalists to our matchday squad, they add further strength and experience as we take on a hugely competitive Emirates Lions side.

“We’re really excited to get back to Hive Stadium after opening the Championship on the road and it will be brilliant to be back in front of the Edinburgh supporters – they really do provide us with an energy and a spark.

“Although we weren’t altogether pleased with last weekend’s performance, we showed plenty of physicality and resilience to come away with a hard-fought win away from home.

“We’ll need to repeat those levels of physicality tomorrow night if we’re to come out on top – it’s set to be a massive night of rugby at Hive Stadium.”


Full-back Kinghorn returns to the back-three after Scotland’s Rugby World Cup campaign, with Wes Goosen and GB Sevens flyer Ross McCann – a debutant in last weekend’s win in Newport – named on opposite wings.

Centres Matt Currie and Mark Bennett continue in midfield as stand-off Ben Healy – named BKT Player of the Match on his first outing for the club – makes his first home start alongside co-captain and scrum-half Ben Vellacott.

An unchanged front-row sees hooker Dave Cherry pack down alongside props Boan Venter and Javan Sebastian, as Glen Young and newly appointed co-captain Gilchrist complete the tight-five.

An all-international back-row sees Mata link-up with Scotland flankers Luke Crosbie and Watson.

Replacement Ashman will make his Edinburgh Rugby competitive debut if called upon from the bench, having featured for the club in a pre-season friendly against London Scottish while on loan from Sale Sharks in 2019.

Edinburgh Rugby team to face Emirates Lions at Hive Stadium in the BKT United Rugby Championship
Saturday 28 October (kick-off 5pm) – live on Viaplay

15. Blair Kinghorn (134)

14. Ross McCann (1)
13. Mark Bennett (89)
12. Matt Currie (19)
11. Wes Goosen (11)

9. Ben Healy (1)
10. Ben Vellacott (39) CAPTAIN 

1. Boan Venter (47)
2. Dave Cherry (72)
3. Javan Sebastian (1)
4. Glen Young (23)
5. Grant Gilchrist (188)
6. Luke Crosbie (85)
7. Hamish Watson (140)
8. Viliame Mata (116)


16. Ewan Ashman*
17. Robin Hislop (20)
18. WP Nel (188)
19. Marshall Sykes (42)
20. Connor Boyle (33)
21. Charlie Shiel (56)
22. Cammy Scott (4)
23. Chris Dean (136)

Unavailable: Luan de Bruin (back), Darcy Graham (hip), Jake Henry (knee), Mikey Jones (ankle), James Lang (calf), Ben Muncaster (knee), Sam Skinner (knee), Scott Steele (hip), Nathan Sweeney (hamstring), Tim Swiel (ankle), Jamie Ritchie (shoulder).

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