Swiel to debut as Mata returns for Ulster clash

Swiel to debut as Mata returns for Ulster clash

Tim Swiel will make his debut at full-back tomorrow night when Edinburgh Rugby face Ulster Rugby in the BKT URC clash at Kingspan Stadium (Saturday 2 December, kick-off 5.15pm) – live on Viaplay.

Swiel – who joined this summer but has had to wait for opportunity through injury – takes the place of the departing Blair Kinghorn, who misses out on his final fixture for the club before joining Toulouse, with a minor hip injury sustained in training earlier this week.

Elsewhere in the backline, 22-year-old academy graduate Harry Paterson is handed his first start of the season, after impressing for the club’s A side last week, in place of wing Duhan van der Merwe – the British & Irish Lion wing misses out after suffering a concussion in training.

Captain Ben Vellacott gets the nod at scrum-half, with Ali Price moving to the bench.

Senior Coach Sean Everitt makes a further four changes to the pack with Scotland hooker Ewan Ashman starting in place of the injured Dave Cherry (ankle).

A revamped lock pairing sees Scotland caps Jamie Hodgson and Marshall Sykes both make their first starts of the season, with Grant Gilchrist rested and Glen Young handed a place on the bench.

Fijian star Viliame Mata returns to start at number 8, as Luke Crosbie shifts to blindside flanker, with Connor Boyle rested for the Round 7 encounter at Kingspan Stadium.

The capital side are further bolstered by the return of British & Irish Lion and Scotland internationalist Hamish Watson, who is named among the replacements after recovering from a fractured cheekbone.

On his selection, Everitt, said: “We’ve made a number of changes this week – a few unfortunately down to injury – but that’s really exciting for the guys who come in and get their opportunity.

“We, and I’m sure Blair, would have liked to see him play his last game for the club, but he has picked up a minor knock in training and unfortunately misses out – it’s great to see Tim Swiel step up at full-back having been made to wait for his chance.

“We’re lucky enough to have strength and depth at other positional groups where we’ve been able to rotate, while we welcome back experienced players like Bill Mata, Jamie Hodgson, Hamish Watson and Mark Bennett, who will all be champing at the bit to make an impact on Saturday night.

“It’s set to be another massive test but one we’re looking forward to. We travel to Belfast with plenty of quality in our ranks.”

In the backs, Wes Goosen continues on the wing, while centres James Lang and Matt Currie form an unchanged midfield pairing.

Ben Healy continues at stand-off with skipper and scrum-half Vellacott back in the starting XV after featuring from the bench last weekend.

An all-Scotland front-row sees hooker Ashman pack down alongside props Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel.

Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie is named at openside flanker after making his 100thappearance for the capital club last weekend.

Edinburgh Rugby team to face Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in the BKT United Rugby Championship
Saturday 2 December (kick-off 5.15pm) – live on Viaplay

15. Tim Swiel*

14. Harry Paterson (4)
13. Matt Currie (22)
12. James Lang (42)
11. Wes Goosen (16)

10. Ben Healy (6)
9. Ben Vellacott (43) CAPTAIN

1. Pierre Schoeman (102)
2. Ewan Ashman (5)
3. WP Nel (192)
4. Marshall Sykes (47)
5. Jamie Hodgson (54)
6. Luke Crosbie (87)
7. Jamie Ritchie (100)
8. Viliame Mata (120)


16. Adam McBurney (21)
17. Robin Hislop (21)
18. Javan Sebastian (5)
19. Glen Young (28)
20. Hamish Watson (142)
21. Ali Price (2)
22. Cammy Scott (4)
23. Mark Bennett (93)

Unavailable: Emiliano Boffelli (toe), Luan de Bruin (back), Dave Cherry (ankle), Darcy Graham (hip), Paddy Harrison (concussion), Jake Henry (knee), Mikey Jones (ankle), Blair Kinghorn (hip), Duhan van der Merwe (concussion), Cam Neild (knee), Sam Skinner (knee), Scott Steele (hip), Nathan Sweeney (hamstring).

*Edinburgh Rugby debut

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