Darcy Graham, Hamish Watson, Grant Gilchrist and Bill Mata return for Edinburgh to face Benetton on ‘club appreciation night’

Edinburgh have brought back Darcy Graham for the United Rugby Championship clash with Benetton in the capital on Friday night.

Darcy Graham is back in the Edinburgh side to face Benetton. (Photo by Bruce White / SNS Group)
Darcy Graham is back in the Edinburgh side to face Benetton. (Photo by Bruce White / SNS Group)

The Scotland winger comes in for Ramiro Moyano as Mike Blair’s side seek to make it four wins in a row in the URC.

Graham was not involved in last week’s away win over the Dragons in Wales having playing in three of Scotland’s four autumn Tests. Moyano scored two tries in the victory at Rodney Parade but will not feature against Benetton.

There is also a change at hooker, with Dave Cherry replacing Adam McBurney in the starting XV. Other changes in the pack see Grant Gilchrist come in for Marshall Sykes in the second row and, in a reshaped back row, Magnus Bradbury switches from No 8 to blindside flanker, Hamish Watson replaces Luke Crosbie at openside and Bill Mata starts at No 8, with Nick Haining dropping out.

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It will be Bradbury’s 100th appearance for Edinburgh.

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The game is being billed as ‘club appreciation night’ and the Edinburgh players will wear the socks of their boyhood clubs “to recognise the importance of the grassroots game”. On his landmark appearance Bradbury will represent his hometown team, Oban Lorne, seven years on from making his professional debut at the age of 19.

There are places on the bench for returning Scotland internationals Stuart McInally, Pierre Schoeman and Jamie Ritchie.

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Edinburgh coach Mike Blair said: “We’re firstly delighted to see Magnus reach this landmark appearance, and for him to do it at home, in front of his friends and family, while representing his boyhood team Oban, is pretty special. I know the guys will want to make it a special occasion for Magnus with a good team performance.

“Benetton are a team we know well having faced them in both pre-season and in Round 2. They play with passion and physicality – two attributes we’ll need to match them on for the full 80 minutes.”

Benetton are the only team to have beaten Edinburgh in the URC this season.

Edinburgh (v Benetton, United Rugby Championship, DAM Health Stadium, Friday, 7.35pm. TV: live on Premier Sports)

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With selected club socks

15. Emiliano Boffelli (1) - Corstorphine Cougars

14. Darcy Graham (43) – Hawick RFC

13. Matt Currie (4) – Merchiston Castle

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12. James Lang (5) – Edinburgh Accies

11. Damien Hoyland (89) – Boroughmuir / Melrose

10. Blair Kinghorn (105) – Edinburgh Accies

9. Ben Vellacott (6) – Lasswade RFC

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1. Boan Venter (13) – Broughton RFC

2. Dave Cherry (42) – Edinburgh Accies/ Currie

3. WP Nel (161) - Watsonians

4. Jamie Hodgson (28) – Stewart’s Melville College / Watsonians

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5. Grant Gilchrist (163) – Alloa RFC

6. Magnus Bradbury (99) – Oban Lorne

7. Hamish Watson (120) – Edinburgh Accies

8. Viliame Mata (94) – Broughton RFC

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Replacements

16. Stuart McInally (157) - Watsonians

17. Pierre Schoeman (70) – Edinburgh Accies

18. Lee-Roy Atalifo (13) – Redford Barracks

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19. Marshall Sykes (12) – Woodbridge Rugby Club / Ayrshire Bulls

20. Jamie Ritchie (81) - Madras

21. Henry Pyrgos (55) – Leith Rugby

22. Charlie Savala (70) – Ayr RFC

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23. Mark Bennett (57) – Cumnock RFC

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