Scotland half-backs start in Parma

Scotland half-backs start in Parma

Scotland half-backs Ben Healy and Ali Price start as two of seven internationalists released for tomorrow night’s BKT United Rugby Championship clash against Zebre Parma at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi (16 February, kick-off 7.35pm GMT/ 8.35pm local) – live on Viaplay.

Harry Paterson – who enjoyed an impressive international debut against France on Saturday – WP Nel, Glen Young and Jamie Ritchie all start in Parma, with Javan Sebastian selected among the replacements.

Sitting in sixth place in the Championship, the capital side return to league action for the first time since defeating Glasgow Warriors in front of a club-record 37,904 crowd at Scottish Gas Murrayfield in December.

Ahead of the clash in Parma, Head Coach Sean Everitt said: “The guys have come back from a break refreshed and ready to go. It’s been good to give our bodies a rest, but the squad are now champing at the bit to get into game time.

“We name a side with plenty of quality and experience to face a Zebre Parma team who are much improved this season. With a number of our internationalists coming back into a settled squad, there is a good balance throughout the 23.

“Players like Jamie [Ritchie], Ali [Price] and WP [Nel] will be eager to impress from the get-go while we’re excited to see younger guys like Paddy [Harrison] and Nathan [Sweeney] get their opportunity from the bench.

“This is an important fixture for the club. We’ve trained well and are ready for the challenge.”

Argentine star Emiliano Boffelli starts at full-back with Chris Dean and Paterson named on the wings.

Centres James Lang and Matt Currie link-up in midfield alongside Price and Healy at half-back.

Up front, centurion Nel recovers from a neck strain to start at tighthead prop alongside Dave Cherry (hooker) and Boan Venter (loosehead prop).

Locks Marshall Sykes and Young combine in the middle row as Ritchie, Hamish Watson (openside) and Viliame Mata (number 8) form a formidable back-row unit.

British and Irish Lion Watson becomes just the 11th player in club history to reach 150 appearances, and is the only back-row to feature in the ‘150 club’.

The capital side are further bolstered by prop Luan de Bruin (back) and wing/full-back Nathan Sweeney’s (hamstring) return to full fitness, with both players named among the replacements.


Edinburgh Rugby team to face Zebre Parma at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in the BKT United Rugby Championship
Friday 16 February (kick-off 7.35pm GMT/ 8.35pm local) – live on Viaplay

15. Emiliano Boffelli (35)

14. Harry Paterson (8)
13. Matt Currie (29)
12. James Lang (47)
11. Chris Dean (142)

10. Ben Healy (12)
9. Ali Price (8)

1. Boan Venter (56)
2. Dave Cherry (82)
3. WP Nel (197)
4. Marshall Sykes (53)
5. Glen Young (35)
6. Jamie Ritchie (105) CAPTAIN
7. Hamish Watson (149)
8. Viliame Mata (127)


16. Paddy Harrison (12)
17. Luan de Bruin (22)
18. Javan Sebastian (8)
19. Tom Dodd (6)
20. Connor Boyle (39)
21. Ben Vellacott (50)
22. Mark Bennett (98)
23. Nathan Sweeney (2)


Unavailable: Luke Crosbie (shoulder), Wes Goosen (quad), Darcy Graham (quad), Jamie Hodgson (shin), Robin Hislop (knee), Ben Muncaster (foot), Scott Steele (hip).

International selection: Ewan Ashman, Grant Gilchrist, Pierre Schoeman, Sam Skinner, Duhan van der Merwe.

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