Cherry and Watson start as Hoyland returns in Llanelli
Edinburgh Rugby is bolstered by the return of Dave Cherry (hooker) and Hamish Watson (back-row) from Scotland camp and Damien Hoyland from injury for tomorrow’s BKT URC clash against Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets (Saturday 18 February, kick-off 5.15pm) – live on Viaplay.
Hoyland’s inclusion sees Wes Goosen shift to full-back as Charlie Shiel gets the nod at scrum-half in the only other change to the starting backline.
In the pack, Scotland lock Jamie Hodgson comes into the tight-five in place of Marshall Sykes, while centre Chris Dean (concussion) is once again fit to be named on the bench, having progressed through the graduated return to play protocol.
Ahead of the match-up in West Wales, Head Coach Mike Blair said: “We’ve had a really focussed week of training and the guys are excited to return to league action. That short break during the Six Nations window has given us the opportunity to take stock and reflect on what we’re doing well and what we can do better as a team.
“The internationals have come back into training this week and brought a brilliant buzz. We’ve got a great dynamic across the squad and we feel energised as a group heading into tomorrow night’s match at Parc y Scarlets.
“Scarlets have been going really well of late and are always strong at home. However, we’ve had some terrific results on the road so far this season – with URC wins at Cardiff and Zebre – which gives us some confidence heading into a fixture which is hugely important for us as a club.”
Wing Jack Blain continues in the back-three alongside Goosen and Hoyland as Scotland duo Mark Bennett and James Lang form an unchanged centre pairing.
Stand-off Charlie Savala – who this week penned a new three-year deal with the capital club – links-up with Shiel at half-back.
Cherry packs down alongside props Boan Venter and Murray McCallum up front as Glen Young and Hodgson complete the tight-five.
Number 8 Viliame Mata anchors an experienced back-row unit, which sees Watson and Nick Haining named on opposite flanks.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face Scarlets at Parc y Scarlets in the BKT United Rugby Championship
Saturday 18 February (kick-off 5.15pm) – live on Viaplay
15. Wes Goosen (8)
14. Damien Hoyland (101)
13. Mark Bennett (82)
12. James Lang (33)
11. Jack Blain (25)
10. Charlie Savala (26)
9. Charlie Shiel (53)
1. Boan Venter (40)
2. Dave Cherry (66) CAPTAIN
3. Murray McCallum (64)
4. Glen Young (19)
5. Jamie Hodgson (50)
6. Nick Haining (34)
7. Hamish Watson (135)
8. Viliame Mata (110)
16. Adam McBurney (19)
17. Jamie Jack (1)
18. Lee-Roy Atalifo (30)
19. Marshall Sykes (36)
20. Connor Boyle (28)
21. Ben Vellacott (33)
22. Jaco van der Walt (94)
23. Chris Dean (131)
Unavailable: Nick Auterac, Emiliano Boffelli, Luan de Bruin, Matt Currie, Darcy Graham, Henry Immelman, Stuart McInally, Ben Muncaster, Harry Paterson, Angus Williams.
Scotland camp: Pierre Schoeman, WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Sam Skinner, Jamie Ritchie, Luke Crosbie, Blair Kinghorn, Duhan van der Merwe.