Edinburgh Rugby hit by injuries as Blair Kinghorn handed chance to impress Scotland bosses at 10

Blair Kinghorn will get the opportunity to impress Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend at stand-off after he was given the nod at 10 for Edinburgh’s United Rugby Championship clash against Zebre.

Blair Kinghorn has his eye on the ball ahead of Edinburgh's trip to Parma.

Mike Blair’s men travel to Parma for Saturday’s meeting with the Italians, who are yet to win in the league so far. The Edinburgh boss has decided to give Kinghorn a run out at fly-half, with Jaco van der Walt dropping out due to a shoulder injury. Charlie Savala, who was culled from Scotland’s training squad, will deputise for that position on the bench.

Kinghorn, who was included in the Scotland squad for the upcoming Autumn Nations Series matches against Tonga, Australia, South Africa and Japan and can also operate as a full-back, could be in line to play a role at stand-off for national team against the Tongans on October 31. With Adam Hastings (Gloucester) and Finn Russell (Racing 92) unlikely to feature in the first Test due to club commitments, Kinghorn is fighting it out with young Glasgow Warriors stand-off Ross Thompson for the Scotland shirt and will look to grasp his opportunity with both hands.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Just back from injury, Kinghorn is one of seven changes to Edinburgh’s starting XV, with centres Cammy Hutchison and James Johnstone coming in for Mark Bennett and James Lang.

The duo are suffering from knee and groin injuries respectively, forcing a reshuffle in midfield, and Bennett in particular will hope that his knock is not too serious given his involvement in the Scotland squad.

In the pack, locks Jamie Hodgson and Pierce Phillips form a revamped second-row pairing – Grant Gilchrist and Marshall Sykes are both rested – while back-row Jamie Ritchie returns to skipper the capital side as Magnus Bradbury moves to the bench.

Henry Immelman – who grabbed his first try for the club in the 17-10 win over Vodacom Bulls last weekend – once again starts at full-back with Blain and Damien Hoyland selected on opposite wings, while scrum-half Charlie Shiel joins returning stand-off Kinghorn at half-back.

Hooker Stuart McInally packs down alongside props Pierre Schoeman and Luan de Bruin in an unchanged front-row.

The inclusion of Ritchie at blindside flanker is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back-row as No 8 Viliame Mata and openside flanker Luke Crosbie complete the pack.

Ahead of the match at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, Blair told the club’s website: “We were delighted with our overall performance against Vodacom Bulls and it was brilliant to see the passion to play for the jersey from 1 to 23.

“That passion and pride to represent Edinburgh Rugby are virtues we’ll once again need this weekend as we go up against a Zebre Parma side who’ll be desperate to win on home soil.

“We’ve picked up a few knocks but a number of guys step up and get their opportunity. We’re really excited to build on Saturday’s home win and look forward to the challenge that awaits us in Parma.”