Injuries force Richard Cockerill into changes for Euro quarter but coach believes Edinburgh can reach semi-final
Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill will field a side with seven changes from the one that started the Guinness Pro14 semi-final loss to Ulster when they face Bordeaux-Begles for a European Challenge Cup semi-final place in France tomorrow (12.30pm, live on BT Sport 3).
Pro14 players’ player of the season Duhan van der Merwe joins Scotland internationalists WP Nel and Mark Bennett, on the sidelines, while young Charlie Shiel gets another chance to shine at scrum-half as Nic Groom is not fit to travel.
In the backs, Damien Hoyland, James Johnstone and Charlie Shiel replace the injured Duhan van der Merwe, Mark Bennett and Nic Groom, while centre George Taylor gets the nod at inside centre.
In the forwards, front-row duo Pierre Schoeman and Simon Berghan form a new prop pairing as Scotland flanker Jamie Ritchie is handed his first start since the capital side returned to competitive action last month.
Cockerill said: “Bordeaux are a very good team, we have played them twice already this season. If Covidd-19 hadn't come along, they probably would have been champions of France because they were the best team by far. We have an opportunity to play a very good side, put our best foot forward and keep improving.
“We are good enough to compete with them and beat them if we get it right. We have got to make sure we keep them out of our half as they are a big powerful side.
“But we know if we do what we do well, we execute and we are accurate, then we are more than good enough to compete and stay in the game. We’re going there to try and get a result, it's as simple as that."
EDINBURGH TEAM (appearances in brackets)
15. Blair Kinghorn (90)
14. Darcy Graham (32)
13. James Johnstone (50)
12. George Taylor (22)
11. Damien Hoyland (74)
10. Jaco van der Walt (57)
9. Charlie Shiel (19)
1. Pierre Schoeman (43)
2. Stuart McInally (145) CAPTAIN
3. Simon Berghan (81)
4. Ben Toolis (120)
5. Grant Gilchrist (150)
6. Jamie Ritchie (69)
7. Hamish Watson (110)
8. Viliame Mata (74)
Subs: 16. Mike Willemse (21) 17. Rory Sutherland (84) 18. Murray McCallum (55) 19. Andrew Davidson (2) 20. Magnus Bradbury (77) 21. Nick Haining (13) 22. Dan Nutton (1) 23. Chris Dean (91)
Unavailable due to injury: Duhan van der Merwe, Mark Bennett, Nic Groom, Henry Pyrgos, Lewis Carmichael, Fraser McKenzie, WP Nel, Roan Frostwick
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