Zebre v Edinburgh: Pierre Schoeman returns as one of 10 changes

Pierre Schoeman is restored to the starting line-up after serving a four-week suspension. Picture: SNS Group
Pierre Schoeman is restored to the starting line-up after serving a four-week suspension. Picture: SNS Group
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Pierre Schoeman is restored to the Edinburgh starting line-up as one of ten changes made to the side ahead of Friday night’s PRO14 match at Zebre.

The South African prop has completed a four-week suspension and is named at loosehead in a new look front-row, with Simon Berghan at tighthead on the other side of Ross Ford, who makes his second start of the season.

Stewart’s Melville duo James Hodgson - a Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy product - and Callum Hunter-Hill are named in the second-row, with the former making his Edinburgh debut.

Luke Crosbie, Bill Mata and Luke Hamilton form the back-row while Dougie Fife starts at fullback.

Henry Pyrgos captains the side from scrum-half, with Duhan van der Merwe returning from injury to start on the wing, with Darcy Graham on the opposite flank.

James Johnstone is partnered by Chris Dean in midfield following the latter’s try-scoring performance against Toulon, with Simon Hickey returning to the starting XV alongside Pyrgos at half-back.

Italian international prop Pietro Ceccarelli, Callum Atkinson, Mungo Mason and Jason Baggott will make their first competitive appearance for the Capital side if they come off the bench.

Head Coach Richard Cockerill said: “Beating Toulon last weekend was a good step forward in our development, but now we’ve got to set that standard every time we play. We’ve got to do it again against Zebre this weekend.

“We’ve obviously had guys away training with Scotland, but we’ve got a good squad and we’ve got to utilise it.

“Getting a win in Italy is as important as anywhere else, so we’ve just got to get it right. It’s important that we keep up the consistency in our performances.”

Edinburgh team to face Zebre at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in the Guinness PRO14 on Friday 26 October

15. Dougie Fife 14. Darcy Graham 13. James Johnstone 12. Chris Dean 11. Duhan van der Merwe 10. Simon Hickey 9. Henry Pyrgos 1. Pierre Schoeman 2. Ross Ford 3. Simon Berghan 4. Jamie Hodgson 5. Callum Hunter-Hill 6. Luke Hamilton 7. Luke Crosbie 8. Bill Mata.

Replacements

16. David Cherry 17. Rory Sutherland 18. Pietro Ceccarelli 19. Callum Atkinson 20. Mungo Mason 21. Sean Kennedy 22. Jason Baggott 23. Juan Pablo Socino