Fruean to make Edinburgh debut as Gilchrist becomes centurion

Head-coach Richard Cockerill has named his Edinburgh side for the club’s first home match of the Guinness PRO14 season tomorrow night (Friday 8 September) against the Dragons at Myreside (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC ALBA.

The team selection sees five changes to the starting XV that beat Cardiff Blues last weekend.

Centre Robbie Fruean will make his Edinburgh debut, replacing Junior Rasolea who is named among the replacements. The former Junior All Black is partnered in the midfield by one of last week’s try-scorers, Chris Dean.

Elsewhere in the backs, Damien Hoyland replaces the injured Dougie Fife on the right wing.

At loose-head, Italian international prop Michele Rizzo replaces Darryl Marfo who drops to the bench whilst Ben Toolis rotates in for Anton Bresler. Toolis will pack-down alongside Grant Gilchrist who makes his 100th appearance in the black and red.

The only change in the back-row sees Hamish Watson come in for John Hardie.

On his team selection, Cockerill said: “Training has been good this week and we took great confidence from getting the result in Cardiff. We’ve put in a lot of hard work in pre-season and I think we saw the rewards of that at the weekend.

“We’ve got to keep chipping away and keep building that confidence, culture and identity in what we’re doing. It was a good start for us, but we need to get it right again tomorrow night against the Dragons to make sure we keep collecting points - getting as many as we can, as early as we can.

“I expect energy from the guys who’ve come in. They’ve worked hard and got their opportunity to play. We’ve got a strong squad and we’ve got options in a lot of positions, so for the guys coming in, I want them to bring us energy, but I also want them to fight and try and earn a spot in this team.

“Myreside is a great stadium. The guys behind the scenes have put in a lot of work to get it ready and it’s a fantastic surface for the team to play on. When people come and watch us, they’ll walk away knowing that their team has put 100 per cent commitment into the Edinburgh shirt.”

Edinburgh Rugby team to play Dragons at Myreside in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday 8 September (kick-off 7.35pm) – live on BBC ALBA

 

15. Blair Kinghorn (43)

14. Damien Hoyland (48)

13. Chris Dean (43)

12. Robbie Fruean *

11. Jason Harries (1)

10. Duncan Weir (21)

9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (83)

1. Michele Rizzo (1)

2. Stuart McInally (101)

3. WP Nel (104)

4. Ben Toolis (70)

5. Grant Gilchrist (99)

6. Jamie Ritchie (31)

7. Hamish Watson (72)

8. Magnus Bradbury CAPTAIN (31)

Replacements

16. Ross Ford (176)

17. Darryl Marfo (1)

18. Simon Berghan (32)

19. Fraser McKenzie (80)

20. Cornell du Preez (80)

21. Nathan Fowles (34)

22. Jason Tovey (24)

23. Junior Rasolea (14)

 

Edinburgh Rugby appearances in brackets

*Edinburgh Rugby debut