Match preview: Connacht
Get set for Friday night's Scottish Building Society Pre-Season Series clash against Connacht at Hive Stadium with this week's Match Preview.
HOW TO WATCH
This match won’t be live streamed, however a full match highlights package will produced for fans that miss the game.
GET YOUR TICKETS
This match is included in the 2023/24 Season Ticket Membership with tickets available to buy HERE.
STORY OF THE MATCH
After the longest pre-season in the club’s history, Edinburgh Rugby return to competitive action this Friday night for the capital side’s first home fixture since 15 April – making it 167 days since match night at Hive Stadium…
It’s Connacht first up in the Scottish Building Society Pre-Season Series, a URC rival that Edinburgh Rugby’s squad know all too well from league action.
A quality opposition with only two players missing at the Rugby World Cup – Bundee Aki and Mack Hansen – the Galway side will be at near full strength for a Friday night lights clash that can’t be missed.
Connacht will be new Edinburgh Rugby Senior Coach Sean Everitt’s first game in charge and he’ll be keen to assess a team filled with a mix of youth and experience throughout an 80 minute hit-out.
Edinburgh are missing 15 players due to the Rugby World Cup – with several other experienced players currently on the physio bed – however that gives opportunity to the club’s academy up-and-comers who’ll be eager to impress as the countdown to BKT United Rugby Championship kick-off continues.
Mark Bennett skippers a squad mixed with a blend of youth and experience. Full team news can be viewed HERE.
The visitors name a strong side with Darragh Murray, Paul Boyle, Colm Reilly, JJ Hanrahan, Cathal Forde and Shayne Bolton all coming into the starting XV.
Full Connacht team news can be viewed HERE.
WHAT’S BEEN SAID
Edinburgh Rugby Senior Coach Sean Everitt:
“It’s been a long pre-season programme for the squad, so, as you can imagine, there is a lot of excitement and buzz about getting back onto the pitch tomorrow night to face a quality Connacht outfit.
“We are obviously missing a lot of players at the Rugby World Cup, however that provides opportunity for younger players who’ll be eager to make a positive impression, and put their hand up for selection as we look ahead to next month’s BKT United Rugby Championship opener against Dragons.
“We’re excited to see our supporters back at Hive Stadium after such a long summer without matches. Hopefully we can get the crowd on its feet and put in a performance that will stand us in good stead for the season ahead.”
LAST TIME OUT
Edinburgh Rugby travelled to face Connacht at The Sportsground last March where the hosts came out on top 41-26 in a highly entertaining match-up.
Watch back the highlights below from the Round 16 match-up.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Despite being without 16 international players due to the Rugby World Cup, Edinburgh will still be able to field a side with plenty of international experience on Friday night, while a number of younger players will also get their opportunity to shine.
Here are just a few players to look out for…
The hard-running centre shifts to the number 12 jersey for this pre-season clash, his first time playing the position for the capital club.
Playing outside another young playmaker in Cammy Scott, Currie can expect plenty of ball as he looks to impress ahead of the season start.
The back-three flyer has impressed throughout pre-season and will be keen to test himself at 15 with both Blair Kinghorn and Emiliano Boffelli on international duty at the Rugby World Cup.
Tall and athletic with a rangy left boot, Sweeney will have the chance to showcase some of his attacking talent on Hive Stadium’s fast track.
Last season, there weren’t many players that were more improved than loosehead prop, Boan Venter.
An abrasive ball carrier with softer skills for a big man, Venter is an all-action prop who will be keen to make further strides under new Senior Coach, Sean Everitt.