Saracens v Edinburgh: Darcy Graham, Jamie Ritchie, Blair Kinghorn ruled out by injury

Edinburgh Rugby have suffered fresh injury blows ahead of their European Challenge Cup opener against Saracens.

Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair has seen his preparations hampered by injuries to key players.   (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)
Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair has seen his preparations hampered by injuries to key players. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Darcy Graham, Jamie Ritchie and Blair Kinghorn have all been ruled out of Saturday’s clash at the Stonex Stadium.

Edinburgh were already missing Viliame Mata and Damien Hoyland with knee injuries.

With Kinghorn also absent after suffering a head knock in last week’s win over Benetton, 21-year-old stand-off Charlie Savala gets the nod at 10 having impressed from the bench in recent weeks. Jaco van der Walt has recovered from injury and will provide cover on the bench.

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There are also recalls for Scotland internationalists Mark Bennett, Pierre Schoeman, Stuart McInally, WP Nel and Marshall Sykes as Edinburgh take on the three-time European champions.

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Nick Haining gets the nod at No 8 in place of Mata, with Magnus Bradbury – last weekend’s man of the match – on the bench as Luke Crosbie starts at blindside flanker.

Jack Blain and Ramiro Moyano come in on the wings for Graham and Hoyland, while Bennett replaces Matt Currie at outside centre.

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It’s a new look front row as Boan Venter, Dave Cherry and Lee-Roy Atalifo make way for Schoeman, McInally and Nel. Sykes replaces Jamie Hodgson in the second row.

“This is a real challenge for the club,” said Edinburgh coach Mike Blair. “Saracens are one of the best teams in Europe and it will give us a really good measure of where we’re at.

“Saturday’s match gives us an opportunity to test ourselves against some world class individuals. We’ve been really pleased with some of things we’ve been able to achieve in the URC so far, but this week has a different feel to it and we’re just looking forward to the challenge.”

Edinburgh (v Saracens, Challenge Cup, StoneX Stadium, Saturday, 3.15pm)

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15. Emiliano Boffelli

14. Jack Blain

13. Mark Bennett

12. James Lang (vice-captain)

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11. Ramiro Moyano

10. Charlie Savala

9. Ben Vellacott

1. Pierre Schoeman

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2. Stuart McInally (vice-captain)

3. WP Nel

4. Marshall Sykes

5. Grant Gilchrist (captain)

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6. Luke Crosbie

7. Hamish Watson

8. Nick Haining

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16. Dave Cherry

17. Boan Venter

18. Lee-Roy Atalifo

19. Jamie Hodgson

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20. Magnus Bradbury

21. Henry Pyrgos

22. Jaco van der Walt

23. Cammy Hutchison