McInally returns for historic Quarter-Final
Edinburgh and Scotland captain Stuart McInally returns to the starting line-up for tomorrow afternoon’s highly anticipated Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final against Munster at BT Murrayfield (Saturday 30 March, kick-off 12.45pm).
The inclusion of the 27-times capped hooker is one four changes to the side that defeated Leinster last weekend as fellow Scotland internationalists Grant Gilchrist and Damien Hoyland start at lock and wing respectively, while Chris Dean is named in the centre.
With nearly 35,000 tickets sold for the fixture already, the match is fast-approaching a UK record attendance for the Quarter-Final stages. Tickets can still be purchased at edinburghrugby.org.
Ahead of the fixture – which sees Edinburgh compete in their first Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final in seven years – Head Coach Richard Cockerill, said: “We’re going to go full blown into the battle and take them on.
“We’re going to enjoy the contest and see if we’re good enough to do it. We’ll try and out-Munster Munster, as we’re two sides that play quite similar rugby.
“If we get it right we’ll beat them – we’ve got to front up in these big games. We’ll be well prepared, have a lot of belief in what we do and we’re coming here to win.”
With Hoyland named on the wing alongside the capital side’s top try-scorer Duhan van der Merwe, Scotland international Darcy Graham shifts to fullback.
Dean returns to the midfield and is partnered by James Johnstone, while scrum-half Henry Pyrgos and Jaco van der Walt continue at half-back.
The inclusion of McInally at hooker is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged front-row as the skipper packs down alongside WP Nel – a try-scorer in last weekend’s bonus-point win over Leinster – and Pierre Schoeman.
Gilchrist – who is one three players in the matchday squad that faced Toulouse in the capital side’s last Quarter-Final appearance in 2012 – returns at lock alongside fellow club centurion, Ben Toolis.
An unchanged back-row sees Scotland stars John Barclay and Hamish Watson continue at blindside and openside flanker respectively, with Fijian international Viliame Mata once again named at No. 8.
Edinburgh team to face Munster at BT Murrayfield in the Heineken Champions Cup Quarter-Final on Saturday 30 March (kick-off 12.45pm)
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15. Darcy Graham (20)
14. Damien Hoyland (60)
13. James Johnstone (39)
12. Chris Dean (84)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (37)
10. Jaco van der Walt (36)
9. Henry Pyrgos (20)
1. Pierre Schoeman (19)
2. Stuart McInally (133) CAPTAIN
3. WP Nel (130)
4. Ben Toolis (106)
5. Grant Gilchrist (133)
6. John Barclay (1)
7. Hamish Watson (96)
8. Viliame Mata (56)
Replacements: 16. Ross Ford (195); 17. Allan Dell (58); 18. Simon Berghan (63); 19. Magnus Bradbury (61); 20. Jamie Ritchie (61); 21. Charlie Shiel (3); 22. Simon Hickey (17); 23. Mark Bennett (16)