Cherry and Haining back for Zebre Parma clash
Edinburgh Rugby welcome the return of Scotland caps Dave Cherry and Nick Haining for tomorrow afternoon’s BKT United Rugby Championship match against Zebre Parma at DAM Health Stadium (Saturday 7 January, kick-off 3pm) – live on Viaplay.
Hooker Cherry starts up front having recovered from the hamstring injury which kept him out since late October, while back-row Haining is once again fit (calf) after being sidelined for the capital side’s last four fixtures.
The duo bolster an Edinburgh team which includes nine changes to the XV that faced Glasgow Warriors last weekend.
In the backline, Cammy Hutchison (inside centre) makes his first starts of the season, with Jack Blain named on the wing.
With a number of senior back-three players unavailable, Blair Kinghorn shifts to wing meaning Charlie Savala gets the nod at stand-off alongside scrum-half Charlie Shiel.
In the pack, Angus Williams starts at tighthead prop as Jamie Hodgson (lock) comes into the tight-five.
Academy graduate Connor Boyle gets the nod at openside flanker after featuring from the bench in last weekend’s 1872 Cup decider.
Ahead of the fixture, Head Coach Mike Blair said: “We’re really excited to give a number of players their opportunity this weekend and they’ll be raring to step up and represent the city in a hugely important fixture for the club.
“We’ve talked a lot this week around those one, two, three percenters and we’ve worked a lot on individual prep and detail that will stand us in good stead heading into Saturday.
“Zebre Parma ran us really close last season, at home, so we know how dangerous they can be if they get space and momentum.”
A new-look back-three sees academy player Harry Paterson continue at full-back alongside wingers Blain and Kinghorn.
Outside centre Mark Bennett continues in midfield alongside Hutchison as Savala and Shiel combine at half-back.
Cherry packs down alongside Venter and Williams up front as Hodgson and Sam Skinner combine in the second-row.
Blindside flanker Luke Crosbie – named captain – starts alongside Haining and Boyle in the back-row.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face Zebre Parma at DAM Health Stadium in the BKT United Rugby Championship
Saturday 7 January (kick-off 3pm) – live on Viaplay.
15. Harry Paterson (3)
14. Jack Blain (21)
13. Mark Bennett (78)
12. Cammy Hutchison (15)
11. Blair Kinghorn (127)
10. Charlie Savala (22)
9. Charlie Shiel (50)
1. Boan Venter (38)
2. Dave Cherry (62)
3. Angus Williams (18)
4. Sam Skinner (6)
5. Jamie Hodgson (47)
6. Luke Crosbie (80) CAPTAIN
7. Connor Boyle (27)
8. Nick Haining (31)
16. Patrick Harrison (10)
17. Nick Auterac (2)
18. Luan de Bruin (16)
19. Marshall Sykes (33)
20. Viliame Mata (106)
21. Ben Vellacott (29)
22. Jaco van der Walt (93)
23. James Lang (30)
Unavailable: Emiliano Boffelli, Matt Currie, Chris Dean, Wes Goosen, Darcy Graham, Damien Hoyland, Henry Immelman, Adam McBurney, Stuart McInally, Ben Muncaster, Pierce Phillips, Duhan van der Merwe, Hamish Watson.
Rest protocol: Grant Gilchrist, WP Nel, Jamie Ritchie, Pierre Schoeman.