Ritchie to hit century on club appreciation night

Ritchie to hit century on club appreciation night

Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie will become Edinburgh Rugby’s 40th centurion when the capital side face Benetton Rugby at Hive Stadium tomorrow night (Friday 24 November, kick-off 7.35pm) – live on Viaplay.

Ritchie – who joined the club straight from school at the age of 17 – made his Edinburgh Rugby debut in 2014 and has spent the entirety of his professional career so far in the Scottish capital, where he has developed into one of world rugby’s brightest back-row talents and national team captain.

Joining capital greats and living legends such as Simon Taylor and Roddy Grant in the centurions club, Ritchie will reach the milestone wearing club socks from two sides that played a pivotal role in his development – Madras College and Howe of Fife RFC – as Edinburgh Rugby once again celebrates Club Appreciation Night at Hive Stadium.

Now in its third year of running, Club Appreciation Night celebrates those involved at grassroots level, as Edinburgh Rugby players pull on the socks of their boyhood clubs, or local sides they’ve adopted for the fixture (clubs listed below in team line-up).

On Ritchie’s landmark appearance, Senior Coach Sean Everitt, said: “Jamie was a true warrior against Bulls last weekend and it’s clear he’s a player who commands respect across the dressing room. We’re delighted to see him reach 100 appearances for his boyhood club in front of the Edinburgh supporters.

“I know there will be extra motivation for the squad to make it a special night for Jamie and they will be playing for him, as well as the fans that will be packing out Hive Stadium.”

Everitt makes four changes for the Friday night clash as Edinburgh Rugby look to maintain their unbeaten home run (three wins) this season.

Matt Currie returns from injury to start at outside centre as Mark Bennett misses out after picking up a hamstring strain in training earlier this week.

British & Irish Lion Ali Price – on a season-long loan from Glasgow Warriors – gets the nod at scrum-half after impressing in his debut last weekend, with Ben Vellacott named among the replacements.

Dave Cherry is handed a start at hooker after coming off the bench in recent weeks, while Luke Crosbie returns to the fray at number 8 in place of Bill Mata, who remains in concussion protocol.

Everitt continued: “It’s set to be another great test tomorrow night and it’s one we’re really excited about. We’ve shown a lot of resilience in recent wins against Connacht and Bulls and we want to keep that momentum going.

“Our fans make Hive Stadium a special place to play and the atmosphere has been electric. We’ll need that noise and backing to continue as we take on a Benetton side who’ve made an impressive start to the new campaign.”

An unchanged back-three sees Blair Kinghorn continue at full-back alongside wingers Duhan van der Merwe and Wes Goosen.

James Lang links up with Currie in midfield as Scotland duo Ben Healy and Price form a new-look half-back pairing for the capital club.

Up front, Cherry packs down alongside props WP Nel and Pierre Schoeman, as skipper Grant Gilchrist and Glen Young continue in the second-row.

Crosbie anchors a back-row featuring centurion Ritchie and Connor Boyle, after the openside flanker’s BKT Player of the Match winning performance saw him named in the tournament’s team of the weekend.

Elsewhere, summer signing and stand-off Tim Swiel is named among the replacements, where’ll have the opportunity to make his competitive debut for Everitt’s side.

Edinburgh Rugby team to face Benetton Rugby at Hive Stadium in the BKT United Rugby Championship
Friday 24 November (kick-off 7.35pm) 

15. Blair Kinghorn | Edinburgh Accies (138)

14. Wes Goosen | Corstorphine Cougars (15)
13. Matt Currie | Dumfries Saints (21)
12. James Lang | Rygbi Gogledd Cymru (41)
11. Duhan van der Merwe | Heriot’s Rugby (78)

10. Ben Healy | Nenagh RFC (5)
9. Ali Price | Ayr RFC (1)

1. Pierre Schoeman | Corstorphine Cougars (101)
2. Dave Cherry | Tynedale RFC (76)
3. WP Nel | Watsonians RFC (191)
4. Glen Young | Jed-Forest RFC (27)
5. Grant Gilchrist | Alloa RFC (192) CAPTAIN
6. Jamie Ritchie | Madras College/Howe of Fife RFC (99)
7. Connor Boyle | Stewart’s Melville/Watsonians RFC (37)
8. Luke Crosbie | Currie Chieftains (87)


16. Ewan Ashman | Sandbach RFC (4)
17. Boan Venter | Dalkeith RFC (51)
18. Angus Williams | Watsonians (22)
19. Marshall Sykes | Ayr RFC/ Woodbridge Warriors (46)
20. Tom Dodd | Murrayfield Wanderers (3)
21. Ben Vellacott | Lasswade RFC (42)
22. Tim Swiel | Edinburgh Accies*
23. Chris Dean | Edinburgh Accies/North Berwick RFC (140)

Unavailable: Mark Bennett (hamstring), Emiliano Boffelli (toe), Luan de Bruin (back), Darcy Graham (hip), Jake Henry (knee), Mikey Jones (ankle), Viliame Mata (concussion), Cam Neild (knee), Sam Skinner (knee), Scott Steele (hip), Nathan Sweeney (hamstring), Hamish Watson (cheekbone).

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