Three changes to Edinburgh team to face Montpellier in Champions Cup

Richard Cockerill has made three changes to his starting team to take on Montpellier. Picture: SNS Group
Richard Cockerill has made three changes to his starting team to take on Montpellier. Picture: SNS Group
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Richard Cockerill has made three changes to his Edinburgh side for the trip to le Midi to take on Montpellier in this weekend’s Heineken Champions Cup Pool 5 meeting.

Matt Scott will start in midfield at the GGL Stadium, while Alan Dell will make his 50th appearance for the club at loosehead prop. Dougie Fife replaces the injured Duhan van der Merwe in Cockerill’s third and final alteration.

Elsewhere, Blair Kinghorn has been named at fullback while Darcy Graham - who crossed the whitewash in last weekend’s PRO14 win over Cheetahs - and Fife are named on the flanks.

James Johnstone joins Scott in the midfield while Simon Hickey and Henry Pyrgos continue at half-back.

Skipper Stuart McInally packs down alongside Dell and WP Neil in the front-row. Scotland pair Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis continue in the second-row while the back-row comprises Hamish Watson, Magnus Bradbury and Bill Mata.

Ahead of the match against former Scotland coach Vern Cotter’s side, Cockerill said: “It’s going to be a huge test for us mentally and physically - especially for some of our younger players who haven’t played at this intensity.

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“We’re not going to force them into an arm wrestle because that’s going to make it tough for us. If we can keep lots of ball, get quick service and put them under pressure, then we’ll create opportunities.

“Our form has been getting there, but we’ve not played anyone near the quality of Montpellier. We’ll go and enjoy ourselves, play with a smile on our faces and give it our best shot.”

Edinburgh: Blair Kinghorn, Darcy Graham, James Johnstone, Matt Scott, Dougie Fife, Simon Hickey, Henry Pyrgos, Allan Dell, Stuart McInally, WP Nel, Ben Toolis, Grant Gilchrist, Magnus Bradbury, Hamish Watson, Bill Mata.

Replacements: Ross Ford, Rory Sutherland, Simon Berghan, Luke Hamilton, Jamie Ritchie, Sean Kennedy, Jaco van der Walt, Chris Dean.

Montpellier: Henry Immelman, Benjamin Fall, Gabriel N’Gandebe, Vincent Martin, Jan Serfontein, Ruan Pienaar, Enzo Sanga, Mikheil Nariashvili, Bismarck Du Plessis, Jannie Du Plessis, Nico Janse van Rensburg, Paul Willemse, Fulgence Ouedraogo, Louis Picamoles, Wiaan Liebenberg.

Replacements: Vincent Guidicelli, Gregory Fichten, Antoine Guillamon, Kevin Kornath, Kelian Galletier, Julien Tomas, Yvan Reilhac, Alexandre Dumoulin.