Kinghorn returns as Watson starts against DHL Stormers
The Edinburgh Rugby team to face DHL Stormers in tomorrow afternoon’s BKT United Rugby Championship match at DHL Stadium, Cape Town, has been named by Head Coach Mike Blair (Saturday 1 October, kick-off 1pm BST/ 2pm local) – live on Premier Sports.
Stand-off Blair Kinghorn returns to the starting line-up after recovering from a sickness bug that kept him out of last weekend’s narrow defeat to Vodacom Bulls.
Scrum-half Ben Vellacott is paired with Kinghorn at half-back – as Henry Pyrgos moves to the bench – while Stuart McInally comes in at hooker with Dave Cherry selected among the replacements.
Edinburgh make two further changes to the pack as number 8 Nick Haining and openside flanker and British & Irish Lion, Hamish Watson, make their first starts of the season in place of Viliame Mata and Luke Crosbie respectively.
Edinburgh Rugby’s starting XV features 14 Scotland internationalists, seven of whom developed through the club’s academy system.
Ahead of the fixture, Blair said: “After a really physical match against Vodacom Bulls, we’ve returned to Cape Town where we’ve had a great week of training, with the squad fully focussed for another massive test against last season’s Champions.
“We obviously met the Stormers in Cape Town in last year’s Quarter-Final so we know just how good they are – especially at home – but we’re playing with confidence and our squad will be fired up to improve on last weekend’s performance.
“It’s a huge challenge but one we’re relishing as we take on the URC Champions in their own backyard.”
An unchanged back-three sees Henry Immelman continue at full-back as Scotland duo Darcy Graham – who has five tries in two games so far this season – and Damien Hoyland get the nod on opposite wings.
James Lang (inside-centre) continues in midfield, while Mark Bennett retains his place at outside-centre after a player-of the-match performance against Vodacom Bulls in Round 2.
Hooker McInally packs down alongside an unchanged prop pairing of Pierre Schoeman (loosehead) and WP Nel (tighthead) as Scotland locks Sam Skinner and Grant Gilchrist complete the tight-five.
In the back-row, club co-captain Jamie Ritchie continues at blindside flanker alongside Watson and Haining.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face DHL Stormers at DHL Stadium in the BKT United Rugby Championship
Saturday 1 October (kick-off 1pm BST/ 2pm local) – live on Premier Sports
15. Henry Immelman (18)
14. Darcy Graham (52)
13. Mark Bennett (73)
12. James Lang (21)
11. Damien Hoyland (96)
10.Blair Kinghorn (120)
9. Ben Vellacott (23)
1. Pierre Schoeman (85)
2. Stuart McInally (167)
3. WP Nel (173)
4. Sam Skinner (2)
5. Grant Gilchrist CO-CAPTAIN (177)
6. Jamie Ritchie CO-CAPTAIN (87)
7. Hamish Watson (132)
8. Nick Haining (26)
16. Dave Cherry (59)
17. Boan Venter (27)
18. Luan de Bruin (9)
19. Glen Young (13)
20. Ben Muncaster (16)
21. Henry Pyrgos (72)
22. Charlie Savala (13)
23. Chris Dean (122)
Unavailable: Luke Crosbie, Wes Goosen, Jaco van der Walt