Van der Merwe back for crunch Euro clash

Van der Merwe back for crunch Euro clash

Edinburgh Rugby welcome the return of Scotland and British & Irish Lions winger Duhan van der Merwe for tomorrow night’s crucial EPCR Challenge Cup clash against Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets (Friday 19 January, kick-off 8pm) – live on S4C and

Van der Merwe – who was rested for last weekend’s Gloucester match – returns to the starting line-up as one of six changes made for the Round 4 encounter in Llanelli, where a bonus-point win will guarantee the capital side’s place in the knockout stages of the tournament.

With Darcy Graham (quad), Wes Goosen (quad) and Harry Paterson (shoulder) unavailable for selection, Chris Dean joins Van der Merwe in the back-three, where he is named on the wing.

James Lang returns at inside centre – with Matt Currie shifting to 13 – as Mark Bennett misses out with a knee injury.

Club co-captain Ben Vellacott – who makes his 50th appearance – takes the place of Ali Price at scrum-half, with the British & Irish Lions 9 named among the replacements.

The capital side make just one change to starting pack as Luke Crosbie returns from injury to start at blindside flanker, replacing Glen Young, who is named on the bench as part of a 6-2 split.

Ahead of the clash in Llanelli, Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach Sean Everitt said: “We’ve named a strong and experienced 23 for an important game in our overall season. We know we need a positive result and we’ll be going all out to achieve that tomorrow night.

“We’re delighted to welcome Duhan [van der Merwe], Luke [Crosbie] and Jamie [Ritchie] back to the squad after missing last week’s Gloucester match. They all possess game-changing skillsets, and their experience will be key in helping us deliver a match-winning performance.

“Scarlets are strong at home and both sides know each other well from league competition. It will be an 80-minute battle where we’ll need to be on it from the very first whistle.”

Argentine internationalist Emiliano Boffelli continues at full-back alongside wingers Van der Merwe and Dean.

Centres Lang and Currie link-up in midfield as Vellacott is paired with Scotland stand-off, Ben Healy, at half-back.

Hooker Dave Cherry once again packs down alongside props Pierre Schoeman and WP Nel as an unchanged lock combination of Sam Skinner and Grant Gilchrist completes the tight-five.

Fijian star Viliame Mata continues at number 8 alongside flankers Hamish Watson and Crosbie.


Edinburgh Rugby team to face Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets in the EPCR Challenge Cup
Friday 19 January (kick-off 8pm) – live on S4C/

15. Emiliano Boffelli (34)

14. Chris Dean (141)
13. Matt Currie (28)
12. James Lang (46)
11. Duhan van der Merwe (83)

10. Ben Healy (11)
9. Ben Vellacott (49) CO-CAPTAIN

1. Pierre Schoeman (107)
2. Dave Cherry (81)
3. WP Nel (196)
4. Sam Skinner (15)
5. Grant Gilchrist (197) CO-CAPTAIN
6. Luke Crosbie (92)
7. Hamish Watson (147)
8. Viliame Mata (126)


16. Ewan Ashman (11)
17. Boan Venter (55)
18. Angus Williams (25)
19. Glen Young (34)
20. Jamie Ritchie (104)
21. Tom Dodd (5)
22. Ali Price (7)
23. Cammy Scott (5)

Unavailable: Mark Bennett (knee), Connor Boyle (neck), Wes Goosen (quad), Darcy Graham, (quad), Robin Hislop (knee), Jake Henry (knee), Jamie Hodgson (ankle), Ben Muncaster (foot), Harry Paterson (shoulder), Javan Sebastian (knee), Scott Steele (hip), Nathan Sweeney (hamstring).

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