European Challenge Cup: Edinburgh v Stade Francais (Fri)


Rory Sutherland has recovered from a shoulder problem to start Friday’s match
European Challenge Cup: Edinburgh v Stade Francais
Venue: Murrayfield Stadium Date: Friday, 12 January Kick-off: 19:35 GMT
Coverage: Live on BBC Radio Scotland & BBC Sport website

Prop Rory Sutherland returns as Edinburgh make five changes for the Challenge Cup visit of Stade Francais.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne starts at scrum-half, while winger Damien Hoyland is also back, along with centre Chris Dean and number eight Viliame Mata.

Edinburgh, aiming to secure a home draw in the quarter-finals, top Pool 4 with four wins from four outings.

Holders Stade Francais are eight points behind following surprise losses to London Irish and Russians Krasny Yar.

“It’s important that we play these big sides and we test ourselves,” said Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill.

“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 and Stade Francais were also drawn together in the pool stage of last year’s competition, with each side earning a narrow home victory.

The Top 14 side then went on to beat Gloucester in the final at Murrayfield in May.

The two sides meet again in Paris in the final round of matches on Saturday 20 January.

Edinburgh: Kinghorn, Hoyland, Bennett, Dean, Van der Merwe, Van der Walt, Hidalgo-Clyne; Sutherland, McInally (capt), McCallum, Toolis, Gilchrist, Bradbury, Watson, Mata.

Replacements: Cochrane, Shields, Bryce, McKenzie, Ritchie, Fowles, Graham, Rasolea.

Stade Francais: Ensor, Martial, Nayacalevu, Danty, Arias, Plisson. McLeod, Van der Merwe, Panis, Alo-Emile, Gabrillagues, Flanquart (capt), De Giovanni, Ugena, Macalou.

Replacements: Burden, Zhvania, Melikidze, Cerqueira, Meite, Daguin, Geraghty, Yobo.

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