Scotland quartet return for Sharks clash

Scotland quartet return for Sharks clash

Scotland stars Duhan van der Merwe, Pierre Schoeman, Ewan Ashman and Jamie Ritchie all return to start tomorrow’s BKT URC Round 13 clash against Hollywoodbets Sharks in Durban (Saturday 30 March, kick-off 1pm GMT/ 3pm local) – live on Viaplay.

The quartet return from Six Nations duty to feature in a starting XV that contains one further change from last weekend, with centre Chris Dean replacing Mark Bennett who remains in concussion protocol.

Edinburgh Rugby return to Hollywoodbets Kings Park Stadium for the first time since March 2022, when they became the first Northern Hemisphere URC team to win in South Africa with a 21-5 victory.

Head Coach Sean Everitt said: “It’s great to welcome back some more of our Scotland internationalists. Guys like Jamie [Ritchie] and Pierre [Schoeman] bring a lot of quality and experience to the pack, and they’ll be raring to go after getting a bit of time off after the Six Nations.

“We’ve spoken this week about remaining resilient and sticking to our game plan, while staying strong mentally when coming under pressure.

“Sharks are strong at home but we’re ready for the challenge and look forward to the opportunity of representing our city and fans while here on South African soil.”

Van der Merwe returns in the back-three alongside winger Jake Henry – a try scorer on his debut in Cape Town last weekend – and full-back Wes Goosen.

Matt Currie and Dean link-up in the capital midfield as scrum-half and skipper Ben Vellacott combines with stand-off Ben Healy.

In the forwards, hooker Ashman packs down alongside Schoeman and WP Nel up front.

The aforementioned Nel announced his decision to retire from rugby at the end of the season earlier this week, after becoming only the third player in club history to reach 200 appearances against DHL Stormers last weekend.

Locks Jamie Hodgson and Sam Skinner complete the tight-five while club centurions Ritchie, Hamish Watson (openside) and Viliame Mata (number 8) form an experienced back-row unit.

Centre James Lang – named among the replacements – is in line to make his 50thappearance for the capital club if called upon.

Edinburgh Rugby team to face Hollywoodbets Sharks at Hollywoodbets Kings Park Stadium in the BKT United Rugby Championship
Saturday 30 March (kick-off 1pm GMT/ 3pm local) – live on Viaplay

15. Wes Goosen (24)

14. Jake Henry (1)
13. Matt Currie (31)
12. Chris Dean (145)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (84)

10. Ben Healy (15)
9. Ben Vellacott (53) CAPTAIN

1. Pierre Schoeman (108)
2. Ewan Ashman (12)
3. WP Nel (200)
4. Jamie Hodgson (57)
5. Sam Skinner (18)
6. Jamie Ritchie (106)
7. Hamish Watson (152)
8. Viliame Mata (130)


16. Dave Cherry (85)
17. Boan Venter (59)
18. Javan Sebastian (11)
19. Marshall Sykes (56)
20. Connor Boyle (40)
21. Charlie Shiel (61)
22. Cammy Scott (7)
23. James Lang (49)


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

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