Los Pumas star Boffelli returns for Lions test
Argentine international Emiliano Boffelli returns to Edinburgh Rugby’s starting line-up for tomorrow night’s United Rugby Championship match against Emirates Lions at DAM Health Stadium (Friday 7 October, kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports.
The Los Pumas star makes his first Edinburgh appearance of the 22/23 season – having enjoyed an impressive Rugby Championship campaign, notching up 20 points in August’s stunning win against the All Blacks, while playing a key role in Argentina’s summer series victory against Scotland – and is selected on the wing as one of eight changes named by Head Coach Mike Blair.
Matt Currie (outside centre) makes his first start of the season in place of the injured Mark Bennett while Henry Pyrgos gets the nod at scrum-half as Ben Vellacott misses out having picking up a knock in training.
A new front-row combination of Boan Venter (loosehead) and Luan de Bruin (tighthead) start as Glen Young (lock) comes into the second-row.
Luke Crosbie (blindside flanker) and Viliame Mata (number 8) are both fit again and return to the back-row in place of injured duo Jamie Ritchie and Nick Haining.
Edinburgh Rugby will once again celebrate ‘club appreciation night’ which will see the squad pull on the socks of their boyhood/local clubs to recognise the importance of the wider grassroots game, with the players’ chosen clubs listed on the team line-up below.
Head Coach Mike Blair said: “We’re excited to be back home after a two-week tour and the squad are really looking forward to Friday night lights in front of the Edinburgh supporters – it’s always a special experience playing under the lights and we’re anticipating a brilliant atmosphere.
“It’s the second season of celebrating ‘club appreciation night’ and it’s something that definitely adds that extra bit of motivation for the squad. We’re proud to represent our grassroots clubs and it’s important we recognise those local teams that do so much to support us on a weekly basis.
“We’ve made a number of changes to the starting line-up and we’re excited to see guys get their opportunity for what will be a really tough match-up. Emirates Lions come into the game having won two straight in Wales, so we’ll have to be at our very best come kick-off tomorrow night.”
Henry Immelman continues at full-back as Bofelli and Darcy Graham are selected on opposite wings.
Academy graduate Currie links up with James Lang (inside centre) in midfield as Pygros and Blair Kinghorn (stand-off) combine at half-back.
Scotland internationalist Stuart McInally continues at hooker as club co-captain Grant Gilchrist retains his place in the second-row alongside Young.
Scotland and British and Irish Lions back-row Hamish Watson once again starts at openside flanker as Crosbie and Mata complete the pack.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face Emirates Lions at DAM Health Stadium in the United Rugby Championship
Friday 7 October (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Premier Sports
15. Henry Immelman (Portobello RFC) (19)
14. Darcy Graham (Hawick RFC) (53)
13. Matt Currie (Dumfries / Merchiston Castle) (13)
12. James Lang (RGC Rygbi Gogledd Cymru) (22)
11. Emiliano Boffelli (Inverleith RFC) (18)
10. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Accies) (121) VICE-CAPTAIN
9. Henry Pyrgos (Leith RFC) (73)
1. Boan Venter (Leith RFC) (28)
2. Stuart McInally (Watsonians) (168) VICE-CAPTAIN
3. Luan de Bruin (Corstorphine Cougars) (10)
4. Glen Young (Jed-Forest RFC) (14)
5. Grant Gilchrist (Alloa RFC) (178) CAPTAIN
6. Luke Crosbie (Livingston RFC / Currie Chieftains) (71)
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Accies) (133)
8. Viliame Mata (Trinity RFC) (97)
16. Dave Cherry (Mull RFC / Merchiston Castle) (60)
17. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Accies) (86)
18. WP Nel (Watsonians) (174)
19. Marshall Sykes (Ayr RFC) (25)
20. Ben Muncaster (North Berwick RFC) (17)
21. Charlie Shiel (Currie Chieftains / Royal High) (45)
22. Charlie Savala (Ayr RFC) (14)
23. Chris Dean (North Berwick RFC / Edinburgh Accies) (123)
Unavailable: Mark Bennett, Conor Boyle, Wes Goosen, Nick Haining, Jamie Ritchie, Ben Vellacott.