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Schoeman fit for Sharks as Gilchrist set to hit Edinburgh landmark

By PA
Dublin , Ireland - 4 November 2023; Pierre Schoeman of Edinburgh arrives before the United Rugby Championship match between Leinster and Edinburgh at the RDS Arena in Dublin. (Photo By Harry Murphy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Scotland international Pierre Schoeman will return for Edinburgh when they take on Sharks in his native South Africa in Saturday’s European Challenge Cup quarter-final.

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The return of the prop – who has recovered from concussion – is the only change to the side that booked a place in the last eight with victory over Bayonne last weekend.

Lock Grant Gilchrist will co-captain the side when he follows in the footsteps of Allan Jacobsen, Chris Paterson and current team-mate WP Nel in making his 200th appearance for the club.

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Jake Whites previews the Bulls’ face-off with Northampton Saints

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Jake Whites previews the Bulls’ face-off with Northampton Saints

Head coach Sean Everitt said: “I’d firstly like to congratulate Grant on reaching 200 appearances for the club. It’s a fantastic achievement for a top professional who truly bleeds Edinburgh.

“This is his club and I know how much it means to represent this city and our supporters week in, week out.

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36 - 30
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Edinburgh
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“After arriving in Durban earlier this week, we’ve continued to prepare well for what is a massive fixture for the club.

“We’ve spoken all week about the collective belief needed to win on the road in tough conditions. We’ve done it before and will need those same levels of energy and commitment once again.

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“It’s great to welcome Pierre back to the starting line-up. He’s a quality player with a huge amount of experience at the very top level of rugby.”

Everitt added: “We’ve taken a lot of belief from last weekend’s knockout win against Bayonne. That second half set the standard of how we want to perform moving forward into the crucial business end of the campaign.”

Another prop, Boan Venter, returns to the bench in Durban following injury.

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D
Diarmid 9 hours ago
Players and referees must cut out worrying trend in rugby – Andy Goode

The guy had just beasted himself in a scrum and the blood hadn't yet returned to his head when he was pushed into a team mate. He took his weight off his left foot precisely at the moment he was shoved and dropped to the floor when seemingly trying to avoid stepping on Hyron Andrews’ foot. I don't think he was trying to milk a penalty, I think he was knackered but still switched on enough to avoid planting 120kgs on the dorsum of his second row’s foot. To effectively “police” such incidents with a (noble) view to eradicating play acting in rugby, yet more video would need to be reviewed in real time, which is not in the interest of the game as a sporting spectacle. I would far rather see Farrell penalised for interfering with the refereeing of the game. Perhaps he was right to be frustrated, he was much closer to the action than the only camera angle I've seen, however his vocal objection to Rodd’s falling over doesn't legitimately fall into the captain's role as the mouthpiece of his team - he should have kept his frustration to himself, that's one of the pillars of rugby union. I appreciate that he was within his rights to communicate with the referee as captain but he didn't do this, he moaned and attempted to sway the decision by directing his complaint to the player rather than the ref. Rugby needs to look closely at the message it wants to send to young players and amateur grassroots rugby. The best way to do this would be to apply the laws as they are written and edit them where the written laws no longer apply. If this means deleting laws such as ‘the put in to the scrum must be straight”, so be it. Likewise, if it is no longer necessary to respect the referee’s decision without questioning it or pre-emptively attempting to sway it (including by diving or by shouting and gesticulating) then this behaviour should be embraced (and commercialised). Otherwise any reference to respecting the referee should be deleted from the laws. You have to start somewhere to maintain the values of rugby and the best place to start would be giving a penalty and a warning against the offending player, followed by a yellow card the next time. People like Farrell would rapidly learn to keep quiet and let their skills do the talking.

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