Edinburgh to give Scotland quintet rest despite travelling to South Africa

Everitt wants players fresh for second match of tour against Sharks in Durban

Sean Everitt is convinced that it will be better for Edinburgh in the long term to give some key members of the squad a break this weekend instead of selecting them to play against the Stormers in Cape Town.

Of seven current members of the Scotland squad who have travelled to South Africa, only stand-off Ben Healy and second-row Sam Skinner will be involved on Saturday. The other five – winger Duhan van der Merwe and forwards Ewan Ashman, Grant Gilchrist, Jamie Ritchie and Pierre Schoeman – will sit out the match in Cape Town in order to have some rest and recuperation after the Six Nations. All seven, however, will be available for the second leg of the URC double-header, against the Sharks in Durban a week on Saturday.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“The majority of our Scotland internationals will be available for the second game,” Everitt, the team’s head coach, said yesterday. “Unfortunately for us not all of them have been released [for the first game], but rightly so. They’ve had a busy Six Nations, one of their closest competitions for many years. They deserve a rest and at Edinburgh we respect the pressures that are on our international players. We’ve got a guy like Ewan Ashman who has come out here with us. He is available to play, but I understand he’s had a really busy six weeks away from home so he will be resting this week. We just want to give them every opportunity to be back on song for the rest of the season.”

Sean Everitt and Edinburgh head to South Africa on URC business this weekend.Sean Everitt and Edinburgh head to South Africa on URC business this weekend.
Sean Everitt and Edinburgh head to South Africa on URC business this weekend.

Hamish Watson and WP Nel, who had only minimal involvement with the Scotland camp during the Six Nations, are also expected to be involved when fourth-placed Edinburgh take on the Stormers, who are currently just outside the play-off positions in ninth place. “The Stormers are only four points behind us,” Everitt added. "If we don’t get a win this weekend we could find ourselves in ninth position. I think any of the top eight or nine teams just now would have an opportunity to challenge for a place in the top four.”