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Injury haunted Edinburgh welcome back Scotland internationals

By PA
(Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Mike Blair is delighted to see Edinburgh’s lengthy injury list offset slightly by the return to action of Scotland internationals Dave Cherry and Nick Haining this weekend.

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Hooker Cherry has been out since late October while flanker Haining has missed the last four games, but both will start in Saturday’s United Rugby Championship match against Zebre at Dam Health Stadium.

“It’s brilliant to have a couple of senior players back from their injuries,” Blair told Edinburgh’s website.

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“Dave’s a really important part of the group from a leadership point of view in the way he leads by example. He’s a real strong player and you just want to follow him so it’s great to have him back.

“Nick’s had an up-and-down season in terms of his availability but he’s a real class player for us who we expect to hit the ground running.”

Blair is still without a string of players through injury, including Emiliano Boffelli, Matt Currie, Chris Dean, Wes Goosen, Darcy Graham, Damien Hoyland, Henry Immelman, Adam McBurney, Stuart McInally, Duhan van der Merwe and Hamish Watson, while Jamie Ritchie and Pierre Schoeman are rested this weekend.

He has made nine changes to the side that lost at home to Glasgow last Friday, with young duo Connor Boyle and Cammy Hutchison among those added to the team.

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“Connor really impressed us last season and we wanted to give him the opportunity to show us that form,” said Blair. “He’s really hungry for it. He loves representing the city and it’s great that he gets this opportunity against a really good Zebre side.

“It will be Cammy Hutch’s first start this season. He made a good impact last year but he’s had a couple of injury issues. It’s a couple of really good guys to get back in and get some involvement on the pitch.

“We’ve talked a lot this week around those one, two, three percenters and we’ve worked a lot on individual prep and detail that will stand us in good stead heading into Saturday.

“Zebre Parma ran us really close last season, at home, so we know how dangerous they can be if they get space and momentum.”

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UNAVAILABLE: Emiliano Boffelli, Matt Currie, Chris Dean, Wes Goosen, Darcy Graham, Damien Hoyland, Henry Immelman, Adam McBurney, Stuart McInally, Pierce Phillips, Duhan van der Merwe, Hamish Watson.

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