Edinburgh rugby milestone for Scotland stalwart Darcy Graham v DHL Stormers as Mike Blair makes change

Edinburgh will hand Darcy Graham a 50th appearance for the club during tomorrow evening’s URC Final Eight clash in South Africa.
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Mike Blair has made one change to the team for the game against DHL Stormers in Cape Town, televised live on Premier Sports, with Henry Pyrgos drafted in for the injured Ben Vellacott. The change at scrum-half is the only one from the team which secured derby success over Glasgow Warriors a fortnight ago.

Hopes are high for a further victory after Edinburgh became the first Northern Hemisphere URC team to win in the Rainbow Nation earlier this season (with a 5-21 win against Cell C Sharks last April). This though is the team’s first ever match in Cape Town, and head coach Blair said: "As a squad, we really benefited from our two-week tour of South Africa back in April, and its once again galvanised the guys – there’s a great feeling of togetherness with this group. They love playing for each other and representing this club.

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“We’re thankful to our backfield team who were able to able to get us out to Cape Town early, giving us the best possible chance to recover and prepare for Saturday’s match by giving us a full weeks training.

“We’ve approached the match in the same way we have all season. It's really important for us to stay relaxed and trust what we are trying to do.

“Stormers are a strong side and we know it’s going to be a huge test away from home, but we have belief and confidence in the way we want to play.”

Though he travelled with the group, there is no place for Stuart McInally. The experienced hooker has been out with a calf injury since the home defeat by Ulster on April 30 and was assessed for fitness through the week before Blair made his call – though the headcoach stressed both Dave Cherry and Adam mcBurney have performed well in his absence.

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Cherry, who will also act as vice-captain, packs down alongside Scotland props WP Nel and Pierre Schoeman as an unaltered lock pairing of Grant Gilchrist and Jamie Hodgson complete the tight-five.

Darcy Graham will line up for his 50th game at Edinburgh in Cape Town. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)Darcy Graham will line up for his 50th game at Edinburgh in Cape Town. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)
Darcy Graham will line up for his 50th game at Edinburgh in Cape Town. (Photo by Paul Devlin / SNS Group)

An all-Scotland back-row sees number 8 Magnus Bradbury once again selected alongside flankers Luke Crosbie (blindside) and Hamish Watson (openside).

The back three is unchanged and sees Argentine international Emiliano Boffelli – this week named in the Pumas squad for the upcoming Summer Series against Scotland – continue at full-back alongside capped wingers Graham and Damien Hoyland.

Centres Chris Dean and Mark Bennett once again link-up in midfield as stand-off Blair Kinghorn – a try-scorer against Warriors two weeks ago – and Pyrgos combine at half-back.

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The match kicks off at 7pm local time - 6pm, in the UK – and will be televised live on Premier Sports.

EDINBURGH: Pierre Schoeman, Dave Cherry (vice captain), WP Nel, Jamie Hodgson, Grant Gilchrist (captain), Luke Crosbie, Hamish Watson, Magnus Bradbury, Henry Pyrgos, Blair Kinghorn (vice captain), Damien Hoyland, Chris Dean, Mark Bennett, Darcy Graham, Emiliano Boffelli.

Substitutes: Adam McBurney, Harrison Courtney, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Marshall Sykes, Ben Muncaster, Charlie Shiel, Jaco van der Walt, James Lang.

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