Schoeman returns for Sharks showdown as Gilchrist hits 200

Schoeman returns for Sharks showdown as Gilchrist hits 200

Edinburgh Rugby welcome the return of Scotland internationalist Pierre Schoeman for tomorrow afternoon’s EPCR Challenge Cup Quarter-Final against Hollywoodbet Sharks at Hollywoodbets Kings Park, Durban (Saturday 13 April, kick-off 12.30pm BST / 1.30pm local) – live on TNT Sports.

The club centurion – who missed out on last weekend’s Round of 16 win after suffering a concussion in training – returns at loosehead prop having completed graduated return to play protocol. His inclusion is the only change to the starting XV that claimed victory against Bayonne six days ago.

Lock Grant Gilchrist – who once again co-captains the capital side – makes his 200th appearance for the club, becoming only the fourth player in Edinburgh Rugby history to reach double-centurion status.

Following in the footsteps of capital greats Allan Jacobsen (268), Chris Paterson and current teammate, WP Nel – who made his 200th appearance for the club in Cape Town three weeks ago – Gilchrist’s milestone moment further cements his ranking as one of Edinburgh’s greatest ever players.

Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach, Sean Everitt, said: “I’d firstly like to congratulate Grant [Gilchrist] on reaching 200 appearances for the club. It’s a fantastic achievement for a top professional who truly bleeds Edinburgh. This is his club and I know how much it means to represent this city and our supporters week in, week out

“After arriving in Durban earlier this week, we’ve continued to prepare well for what is a massive fixture for the club. We’ve spoken all week about the collective belief needed to win on the road in tough conditions. We’ve done it before and will need those same levels of energy and commitment once again.

“It’s great to welcome Pierre [Schoeman] back to the starting line-up. He’s a quality player with a huge amount of experience at the very top level of rugby. His return only strengthens our pack.”

He continued: “We’ve taken a lot of belief from last weekend’s knockout win against Bayonne. That second-half set the standard of how we want to perform moving forward into the crucial business end of the campaign.”

An unchanged back-three sees Wes Goosen continue at full-back alongside wingers Duhan van der Merwe – a try-scorer against Bayonne last weekend – and Jake Henry.

Centres Matt Currie and Mark Bennett once again link up in the capital midfield as stand-off Ben Healy and scrum-half Ben Vellacott continue at half-back.

Hooker Ewan Ashman packs down alongside Schoeman and WP Nel up front as Sam Skinner and Gilchrist complete an all-Scotland tight-five.

Fijian star Bill Mata once again anchors a back-row featuring flankers Hamish Watson – this week named Scottish Building Society Player of the Month – and Jamie Ritchie.

Edinburgh also welcome the return of Boan Venter – who missed out on the Bayonne win through injury – with the loosehead named among the replacements.

Edinburgh Rugby team to face Hollywoodbet Sharks at Hollywoodbets Kings Park in the EPCR Challenge Cup Quarter-Final

Saturday 13 April (kick-off 12.30pm BST/ 1.30pm local) – live on TNT Sports

15. Wes Goosen (26)

14. Jake Henry (3)
13. Mark Bennett (102)
12. Matt Currie (33)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (86)

10. Ben Healy (17)
9. Ben Vellacott CO-CAPTAIN (55)

1. Pierre Schoeman (109)
2. Ewan Ashman (13)
3. WP Nel (202)
4. Sam Skinner (20)
5. Grant Gilchrist CO-CAPTAIN (199)
6. Jamie Ritchie (108)
7. Hamish Watson (154)
8. Viliame Mata (132)


16. Dave Cherry (87)
17. Boan Venter (60)
18. D’Arcy Rae (4)
19. Jamie Hodgson (59)
20. Luke Crosbie (94)
21. Ali Price (11)
22. James Lang (51)
23. Chris Dean (147)

Unavailable: Emiliano Boffelli (back), Darcy Graham (groin), Robin Hislop (knee), Harry Paterson (foot), Scott Steele (hip), Nathan Sweeney (groin), Glen Young (ankle).

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