Nine Scotland internationals in Edinburgh team
There are nine Scotland internationals in the Edinburgh side to play Munster at BT Murrayfield Stadium on Saturday night, including three which have been released from the Guinness Six Nations squad.
Hooker David Cherry – who made his Test debut in the national side’s Calcutta Cup win over England at Twickenham – second-row stalwart and co-captain Grant Gilchrist and stand-off Jaco van der Walt will all start the Guinness PRO14 clash following their fallow week release from the international championship.
There are just four changes to the side which beat Zebre in Parma at the end of last month.
Lock Andrew Davidson replaces the injured Jamie Hodgson, while Fijian international tight-head Lee-Roy Atalifo and Scotland back-row Nick Haining come in for the recently re-signed WP Nel and Hamish Watson, who have been retained by the national team.
The return of loosehead prop Pierre Schoeman, back-row Luke Crosbie (on the openside flank to accommodate Haining) and number 8 Viliame Mata completes the pack.
The side is also buoyed by the return of Scotland capped back Damien Hoyland, who replaces injured full-back Blair Kinghorn.
Hoyland was due to return last week against Dragons – having marked his return to rugby with a try-scoring appearance in the recent Edinburgh A match – meaning tomorrow will be his first competitive appearance for the club since October.
The former Boroughmuir man is the only change to the back division that faced Zebre and will join Jack Blain and Eroni Sau in the back-three, with Mark Bennett and Chris Dean named in midfield and co-captain and scrum-half Henry Pyrgos back to join van der Walt at half-back.
On the bench FOSROC Academy centre Matt Currie (Watsonians Rugby) and recently recruited prop, Boan Venter, could make their club debut if called into action. The pair replace the suspended George Taylor and Sam Grahamslaw.
Murray McCallum – another to return to fitness in the recent A-game – replaces Simon Berghan, who remains in national team camp, back-row Ally Miller takes the bench spot vacated by the promoted Haining and scrum-half Charlie Shiel is another to be released from Scotland camp and joins the replacements.