NEWS | Sutherland returns as Edinburgh look to secure a home quarter-final

Edinburgh Head Coach Richard Cockerill has named his team ahead of tomorrow night’s crucial encounter against reigning European Challenge Cup Champions Stade Francais at BT Murrayfield (Friday 12 January, kick-off 7.35pm).

The team selection includes five changes to the side that recorded a bonus-point victory against Southern Kings last weekend. Damien Hoyland is the only alteration to an otherwise unchanged back three. The winger – who scored against the Parisians in last season’s corresponding European fixture – joins Duhan van der Merwe on the wing, whilst Blair Kinghorn gets the nod at full back.

After marking his debut with a man-of-the-match performance against Southern Kings last weekend, Scotland international Mark Bennett keeps his place in the centre. The 24-year-old is joined by Chris Dean. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne returns to the starting XV and will once again link up with Jaco van der Walt at half back.

In the front row, Rory Sutherland returns to the fray at loosehead and packs down alongside Murray McCallum and hooker Stuart McInally, who once again captains the side.

The established duo of Ben Toolis and Grant Gilchrist make up a powerful second-row, whilst Fijian international Bill Mata returns to the side to link up with Hamish Watson and Magnus Bradbury in the back row.

On his selection, Cockerill said: “We’ve got an opportunity to secure a home quarter-final, so that will be our objective going into the game to make sure we get the job done.

“It’s important that we play these big sides and we test ourselves. Stade Francais were good enough to win the Challenge Cup last year and they’re a good enough side to do it again. If you watched them against Montpellier last weekend they were very competitive and combative.

“However, I’ve chosen a strong side and believe we have more than enough firepower across the board to secure a positive result and a home quarter-final”


Edinburgh team to face Stade Francais in the European Challenge Cup at BT Murrayfield on Friday 12 December (kick-off 7.35pm).


 15. Blair Kinghorn (58)


14. Damien Hoyland (56)

13. Mark Bennett (1)

12. Chris Dean (57)

11. Duhan van der Merwe (6)


10. Jaco van der Walt (6)

9. Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (98)


1. Rory Sutherland (56)

2. Stuart McInally (114) CAPTAIN

3. Murray McCallum (31)

4. Ben Toolis (81)

5. Grant Gilchrist (112)

6. Magnus Bradury (41)

7. Hamish Watson (81)

8. Viliame Mata (26)


Replacements: 16. Neil Cochrane (65); 17. Matt Shields (5); 18. Kevin Bryce (11); 19. Fraser McKenzie (93); 20. Jamie Ritchie (42); 21. Nathan Fowles (48); 22. Darcy Graham (4) 23. Junior Rasolea (21)