Thu 15 Mar 2018 | 12:31

PREVIEW: Pro14, Round 17 - Catch-up matches

PREVIEW: Pro14, Round 17 - Catch-up matches
Thu 15 Mar 2018 | 12:31

PREVIEW: Pro14, Round 17 - Catch-up matches

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Scotland internationalists Ben Toolis – who starts in the second-row – and Simon Berghan – who is named amongst the replacements – both return to club action as Edinburgh look to continue their run of good form which has seen the club win five of its last six league fixtures to climb into the Pro14 play-off positions. 

Dougie Fife is named at fullback after making his 100th appearance for the club in last month's victory over Dragons. The Scotland Sevens star is joined in the back-three by wings Duhan van der Merwe and Jason Harries.

In the midfield, Chris Dean is partnered by Mark Bennett, who returns to the fray after missing the bonus-point victory against Dragons three-weeks ago. An unchanged halfback partnership sees Jaco van der Walt once again link-up with Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.

In the front row, experienced hooker Neil Cochrane is joined by Murray McCallum and Samoan international Jordan Lay.

Club Captain Fraser McKenzie keeps his place in the second-row, whilst Toolis returns to the starting XV after missing the last four fixtures due to international duties.

Meanwhile, there are six changes to the starting XV that defeated Glasgow at Irish Independent Park three weeks ago.

Billy Holland captains the side on his 150th Pro14 appearance as JJ Hanrahan, Rory Scannell, Darren Sweetnam, Mike Sherry, Jack O’Donoghue and Conor Oliver are all drafted into the side.

Tommy O'Donnell is named among the replacements and is set to feature for the first time since sustaining a shoulder injury on New Year's Day.

Simon Zebo starts at fullback with Sweetnam on the right wing and Alex Wootton on the left flank.

Rory Scannell partners Sammy Arnold in the centres with Hanrahan at out-half alongside scrumhalf James Hart.

James Cronin, a try-scorer against Glasgow three weeks ago, keeps his place at loosehead as hooker Sherry makes his first start of the season. Tighthead prop Archer completes the front row.

The second row of Jean Kleyn and Holland remains in situ with two changes to the back row as O’Donoghue and Oliver come in to partner Robin Copeland.

Kevin O'Byrne, Dave Kilcoyne and Brian Scott make up the front row replacements as Darren O'Shea and O'Donnell complete the forward cover.

Academy scrumhalf Jack Stafford, who is set to make his second senior appearance, Bill Johnston and Dan Goggin are the backline substitutes.

Meanwhile, Matthew Morgan and Willis Halaholo return from injury for Cardiff Blues' rescheduled Pro14 clash against Benetton.

The duo, who have been out of action since January, are the only changes made to the backline that claimed a narrow victory over Zebre in Parma at fortnight ago.

Morgan replaces the injured Rhun Williams at fullback, while Halaholo comes into the line-up fo Rey Lee-Lo, who features on the bench.

Meanwhile, a further four changes are made in the pack, including captain Gethin Jenkins, who teams up with Taufa’ao Filise and Kirby Myhill in the front row.

Nick Williams and Macauley Cook are also recalled into the starting XV, with Josh Turnbull and Olly Robinson switching to lock and openside respectively, having impressed at Parma.

Friday, March 16:

Edinburgh v Munster
(Murrayfield, Edinburgh – Kick-off: 19.35; 19.35 GMT)

Teams:

Edinburgh: 15 Dougie Fife, 14 Jason Harries, 13 Mark Bennett, 12 Chris Dean, 11 Duhan van der Merwe, 10 Jaco van der Walt, 9 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 8 Bill Mata, 7 John Hardie, 6 Magnus Bradbury, 5 Ben Toolis, 4 Fraser McKenzie (captain), 3 Murray McCallum, 2 Neil Cochrane, 1 Jordan Lay.
Replacements: 16 Cameron Fenton, 17 Rory Sutherland, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Lewis Carmichael, 20 Cornell du Preez, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Junior Rasolea

Munster: 15 Simon Zebo, 14 Darren Sweetnam, 13 Sammy Arnold, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Alex Wootton, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 James Hart, 8 Robin Copeland, 7 Conor Oliver, 6 Jack O’Donoghue, 5 Billy Holland (captain), 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Stephen Archer, 2 Mike Sherry, 1 James Cronin.
Replacements: 16 Kevin O’Byrne, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18 Brian Scott, 19 Darren O’Shea, 20 Tommy O’Donnell, 21 Jack Stafford, 22 Bill Johnston, 23 Dan Goggin.

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)
Assistant referees: Elgan Williams (Wales), Mike Adamson (Scotland)
TMO: Jon Mason (Wales)

Cardiff Blues v Benetton
(Cardiff Arms Park, Cardiff – Kick-off: 19.35; 19.35 GMT; 20.35 Italy time)

Teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Matthew Morgan, 14 Aled Summerhill, 13 Garyn Smith, 12 Willis Halaholo, 11 Owen Lane, 10 Jarrod Evans, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Olly Robinson, 6 Macauley Cook, 5 Josh Turnbull, 4 George Earle, 3 Taufa'ao Filise, 2 Kirby Myhill, 1 Gethin Jenkins (captain) 
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 Seb Davies, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Rey Lee-Lo

Benetton: 15 Luca Sperandio, 14 Michael Tagicakibau, 13 Tommaso Iannone, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Marty Banks, 9 Giorgio Bronzini, 8 Nasi Manu, 7 Marco Barbini (captain), 6 Francesco Minto, 5 Irné Herbst, 4 Marco Fuser, 3 Matteo Zanusso, 2 Hame Faiva, 1 Federico Zani 
Replacements: 16 Tomas Baravalle, 17 Riccardo Brugnara, 18 Cherif Traore, 19 Marco Lazzaroni, 20 Engjel Makelara, 21 Ian McKinley, 22 Alberto Sgarbi, 23 Andrea Bronzini

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Frank Murphy (Ireland), Gareth Newman (Wales)
TMO: Olly Hodges (Ireland)

PV: 2
Preview: Pro14, Round 17 - Catch-up Matches | Rugby365