Edinburgh Rugby side named for Myreside outing

Acting Head Coach Duncan Hodge has made six personnel changes to his starting side for Edinburgh Rugby’s decisive European Rugby Challenge Cup group match against Timisoara Saracens, which will also mark the capital club’s first outing of the season at Myreside (kick-off 7.35pm). 

Neil Cochrane comes in to captain the side on his 50th Edinburgh Rugby appearance

Hodge’s side go into the match sitting top of Pool 5 and in the knowledge that a bonus-point victory over the Romanian outfit will guarantee a home Challenge Cup quarter-final.

Of the six changes made to the line-up, two amendments are in the back-division where Michael Allen is included at outside-centre and Nathan Fowles is set to start at scrum-half.

In the pack, Neil Cochrane comes in to start at hooker and will captain the side on his 50th appearance for the club, while prop Simon Berghan – who this week was named in Vern Cotter’s squad for the RBS 6 Nations for the first time – replaces WP Nel, who is unavailable through injury (neck).

Grant Gilchrist returns to start at lock, while Jamie Ritchie is named on the openside flank.

Acting Head Coach, Duncan Hodge, said:

“We need no extra motivation for this match. We’re in front of our supporters at a new home ground and have the chance to secure a home European quarter-final.

“As a group we’re hugely excited about playing at Myreside and will look to put down a marker on our first outing.

“It’s a huge day for the club and its supporters and we hope it is a great occasion.

“The players are determined to play their part by giving a huge performance and we look forward to hearing a loud crowd creating a really intimidating atmosphere for the visiting team.”

He added: “We were delighted with the away victory against Harlequins last week but how we build from that is absolutely key.

“We’ve talked a lot about consistency and being relentless. To record three consecutive victories would be a real boost to this team going forward in this competition and in the Guinness PRO12.

“Timisoara were a physical and tough side when we played them out in Romania and we can expect more of the same on their visit to Myreside.”

Blair Kinghorn, Damien Hoyland and Tom Brown remain as the back-three, with Chris Dean moving to inside-centre to accommodate for the incoming Allen.

Duncan Weir retains the number 10 jersey and as part of the half-back duo with Fowles.

Last week’s try-scorer against Harlequins, Allan Dell, continues at loosehead prop and will pack down alongside Cochrane and Berghan in the front-row.

Ben Toolis retains his starting spot and partners Grant Gilchrist in the second-row.

Ritchie is joined in the back-row by Magnus Bradbury, who will start on the blindside flank, and number-eight Cornell Du Preez. 

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Timisoara Saracens in the European Rugby Challenge Cup at Myreside tomorrow (Friday 20 January, kick-off 7.35pm) 

15. Blair Kinghorn

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

10. Duncan Weir
9. Nathan Fowles

1. Allan Dell
2. Neil Cochrane CAPTAIN
3.  Simon Berghan
4. Ben Toolis
5. Grant Gilchrist
6. Magnus Bradbury
7. Jamie Ritchie
8. Cornell Du Preez


16. Stuart McInally
17. Jack Cosgrove
18. Murray McCallum
19. Lewis Carmichael
20. Viliame Mata
21. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne
22. Jason Tovey
23. Rory Scholes


Players unavailable due to injury: Kevin Bryce (shoulder), Phil Burleigh (neck), Alasdair Dickinson (foot), John Hardie (ankle), Will Helu (hand), Nasi Manu (shoulder), WP Nel (neck), Alex Northam (Achilles), Rory Sutherland (groin), Hamish Watson (ribs)