Edinburgh re-call 7 internationals in hunt of Benetton scalp
Edinburgh coach Mike Blair has challenged his team to replicate the high-energy display from last weekend’s win over Dragons against Benetton on Friday as they look to make it four victories on the trot.
The Scottish side are in buoyant mood as they welcome the Italians to the DAM Health stadium after their impressive 30-14 triumph in Wales last Saturday.
Blair, whose side lost by a point away to Benetton at the start of October, said: “We were really pleased with last week’s overall performance and that intent, energy and physicality has carried into training this week.
“We’ve talked a lot about the way we want to play, but you can’t do that unless you’re physical and show intent, and we want to maintain that level of performance on Friday night.
“Benetton are a team we know well having faced them in both pre-season and in round two (of the United Rugby Championship). They play with passion and physicality – two attributes we’ll need to match them on for the full 80 minutes.”
Magnus Bradbury makes his 100th Edinburgh appearance against Benetton. The Scotland international will become the club’s 36th centurion on an evening when Edinburgh will celebrate “club appreciation night”, with each of their players wearing the socks of their boyhood clubs to recognise the importance of the wider grassroots game. Bradbury will represent his hometown team, Oban Lorne.
Blair added: “We’re delighted to see Magnus reach this landmark appearance, and for him to do it at home, in front of his friends and family, while representing his boyhood team Oban, is pretty special. I know the guys will want to make it a special occasion for Magnus with a good team performance.”
Edinburgh welcome back internationals Darcy Graham, Grant Gilchrist, Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata, Stuart McInally, Pierre Schoeman and Jamie Ritchie to the matchday squad, with Watson making his first Edinburgh appearance since becoming a British and Irish Lion in the summer.
Edinburgh Rugby: Emiliano Boffelli, Darcy Graham, Matt Currie, James Lang, Damien Hoyland, Blair Kinghorn, Ben Vellacott, Boan Venter, Dave Cherry, WP Nel, Jamie Hodgson, Grant Gilchrist (CAPT), Magnus Bradbury, Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata
Benetton Rugby: Rhyno Smith, Ratuva Tavuyara, Ignacio Brex, Tommaso Menoncello, Monty Ioane, Leonardo Marin, Dewaldt Duvenage (CAPT), Federico Zani, Hame Faiva, Tiziano Pasquali, Niccolò Cannone, Federico Ruzza, Giovanni Pettinelli, Michele Lamaro, Toa Halafihi
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