Sutherland hits 50 caps as Hodge makes five changes

Acting Head Coach Duncan Hodge has named five personnel changes to his starting side for tomorrow’s Guinness PRO12 encounter with Treviso at BT Murrayfield (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC ALBA.

Prop Rory Sutherland will make his 50th Edinburgh Rugby appearance and will lead the team out tomorrow night to mark the occasion.  

In the backs, 19-year-old Blair Kinghorn will make his first start of the season at full-back, while wing Tom Brown returns from the groin injury which ruled him out of last week’s match-day squad. 

Two of the three changes in the forward pack come in the back-row where Hamish Watson is promoted from the bench to start at openside flanker, while Nasi Manu returns to fitness to feature in his first game since the season opener in Cardiff.

The final change is in the front-row where prop Ewan McQuillin will start at tighthead prop.

As part of the partnership agreement between Scottish Rugby and London Scottish, McQuillin travels north to join Edinburgh Rugby on a temporary basis, while Nick Beavon heads south to stake his claim for game-time with the Richmond outfit in the English Championship. 

BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy prop Murray McCallum is included on the bench, and will debut for the club if he takes to the field.

Hodge said:

It’s been a difficult week with changes being brought in on a number of levels, but the players have been extremely positive in their reaction and trained well this week.

“Technical aspects of the game let us down last week but our desire and commitment was outstanding. We have looked to address the technicalities in training and hope to see an improvement in what is a huge game for the club on Friday.”

He continued:

Treviso are a strong outfit and will pose a tough challenge but we’re looking forward to getting back in front of a home crowd at BT Murrayfield and putting in a big performance for our supporters.

“We see this game as a chance to get back to winning ways before we head into the first rounds of European rugby.”

Incoming Kinghorn and Brown will be joined in the back-three by Damien Hoyland, who dotted down twice to score in his previous run-out against Treviso.

To accommodate for Brown’s inclusion, Michael Allen – who has scored in three of his four appearances this season – moves to outside-centre, with Chris Dean also shuffling infield to don the number 12 jersey.

Sean Kennedy and Jason Tovey remain as the half-back pairing.

Club stalwart Ross Ford joins Sutherland and McQuillin in the front-row, while captain Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis continue at lock 

Magnus Bradbury remains in the back-row alongside Watson and Manu. 

Players not considered due to injury: Simon Berghan (foot), Anton Bresler (groin), Kevin Bryce (shoulder), Phil Burleigh (shoulder), Alasdair Dickinson (hamstring), Will Helu (hamstring), Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (illness), WP Nel (neck), George Turner (ankle), Duncan Weir (jaw)

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Treviso in the Guinness PRO12 at BT Murrayfield tomorrow (Friday 7 October, kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC ALBA 

15. Blair Kinghorn

14. Damien Hoyland
13. Michael Allen
12. Chris Dean
11. Tom Brown

10. Jason Tovey
9. Sean Kennedy

1.  Rory Sutherland
2. Ross Ford
3. Ewan McQuillin
4. Ben Toolis
5. Grant Gilchrist CAPTAIN
6. Magnus Bradbury
7. Hamish Watson
8. Nasi Manu


16. Stuart McInally
17. Allan Dell
18. Murray McCallum
19. Lewis Carmichael
20. John Hardie
21. Nathan Fowles
22. Glenn Bryce
23. Solomoni Rasolea