Edinburgh Rugby: Why some players will be wearing odd socks against Benetton on Friday night
Anyone spotting Damien Hoyland wearing odd socks in Friday night’s home match against Benetton can be reassured that it is no fashion faux pas on the part of the Edinburgh winger.
The Scotland international is simply reconnecting with his rugby roots as part of the side’s ‘Club Appreciation Night’.
The whole Edinburgh squad will play the game wearing the socks of their boyhood clubs in an idea dreamed up by the club’s media manager Stuart Rutherford with a little help from the Barbarians.
Hoyland joined Edinburgh from Melrose in 2014 but his formative years were spent with Boroughmuir and he will wear a sock from each against Benetton.
He’s not the only one who will be turning up in mismatched hosiery. Hooker Dave Cherry will sport the socks of Edinburgh Accies and Currie; lock Jamie Hodgson will wear Stewart’s Melville College and Watsonians and sub Marshall Sykes will turn out in the colours of Woodbridge Rugby Club, from his native Surrey, and Ayrshire Bulls, whom he played for in the inaugural Super6.
The team’s overseas players have each adopted a local side, so Argentine full-back Emiliano Boffelli, for example, will wear the colour of Corstorphine Cougars.
While his main focus is stretching Edinburgh’s winning run in the United Rugby Championship to four games, head coach Mike Blair is also conscious of the club’s role in the community and hopes the sock idea can spark interest.
“It was a great idea from Stu to bring this to the club and great that the league have accepted that we’re going to do it,” said Blair.
“What we want to do as a club is win games and be challenging at the top of the league. But I also believe we have a duty to re-energise and get passion for rugby across Edinburgh. So get schoolkids playing, get people wanting to come down to the DAM Health, and getting sell-out stadiums.
“So we have a focus on winning games but we also want to bring a real desire to the region by playing a certain type of rugby that gets people involved and inspired with what we’re trying to do.”
Edinburgh (v Benetton, United Rugby Championship, DAM Health Stadium, Friday, 7.35pm. TV: live on Premier Sports)
(With club socks listed in brackets)
15. Emiliano Boffelli (Corstorphine Cougars)
14. Darcy Graham (Hawick)
13. Matt Currie (Merchiston Castle)
12. James Lang (Edinburgh Accies)
11. Damien Hoyland (Boroughmuir / Melrose)
10. Blair Kinghorn (Edinburgh Accies)
9. Ben Vellacott (Lasswade)
1. Boan Venter (Broughton)
2. Dave Cherry (Edinburgh Accies / Currie)
3. WP Nel (Watsonians)
4. Jamie Hodgson (Stewart’s Melville College / Watsonians)
5. Grant Gilchrist (Alloa)
6. Magnus Bradbury (Oban Lorne)
7. Hamish Watson (Edinburgh Accies)
8. Viliame Mata (Broughton)
16. Stuart McInally (Watsonians)
17. Pierre Schoeman (Edinburgh Accies)
18. Lee-Roy Atalifo (Redford Barracks)
19. Marshall Sykes (Woodbridge / Ayrshire Bulls)
20. Jamie Ritchie (Madras)
21. Henry Pyrgos (Leith Rugby)
22. Charlie Savala (Ayr)
23. Mark Bennett (Cumnock)
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