Scotland internationalist Jamie Ritchie returns from injury to captain Edinburgh Rugby in tomorrow night’s Scottish Building Society pre-season friendly against London Scottish at DAM Health Stadium (Friday 2 September, kick-off 6.45pm).
The 26-year-old back-row makes his long-awaited return to action having last featured in February’s Calcutta Cup victory at BT Murrayfield.
Ritchie is one of four Scotland caps named in the starting XV as Jamie Hodgson, Marshall Sykes (locks) and James Lang (centre) all start.
Elsewhere, summer signing Nick Auterac (loosehead prop) and academy wing Jake Henry both feature in an Edinburgh side for the first time, with the latter fresh from Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games action, where the flyer excelled at Sevens for Team Scotland.
Purchasing a Season Ticket remains the best value way to secure your place at DAM Health Stadium in 22/23, with London Scottish the first of 12 home fixtures in the Membership package.
Match tickets are still available for tomorrow evening’s pre-season clash against The Exiles at DAM Health Stadium (2 September, kick-off 6.45pm) with prices starting at £20 for adults, £15 for concession/students and £5 for Burgh Juniors (U16).
Ahead of the match, Head Coach Mike Blair said: “We’re really excited to kickstart our season at home and the boys are fired up to get back into competitive games after a really tough, but rewarding, pre-season block.
“Our players always look forward to pulling on the Edinburgh jersey and representing the city, while there are a lot of younger academy guys getting their first taste of rugby at this level. We’re eager to see how they step up to the test.
“London Scottish are a week ahead of us in terms of pre-season preparations, having faced Harlequins last weekend, so they’ll be in good shape and travelling north with confidence.
“It’s set up to be a cracking game of rugby and we can’t wait to get back out there in front of our passionate home support.”
Henry Immelman is named at full-back after recovering from a knee injury sustained at the tail end of 21/22. Wingers Jack Blain and henry complete the back-three, with the former once again available for selection following a developmental period in Australia with Warringah Rugby Club.
Lang – named vice-captain – is selected at outside centre alongside club centurion Chris Dean, while scrum-half Charlie Shiel and stand-off Charlie Savala form an exciting half-back combination.
Hooker Adam McBurney packs down alongside props Auterac and Angus Williams, with Sykes and Hodgson in the middle-row.
Number 8 Ben Muncaster – capped by Scotland A against Chile in the summer – anchors a back-row alongside flankers Connor Boyle – named vice-captain for the first time – and the aforementioned Ritchie.
Mike Blair names a mix of experience and youth on a bench which sees FOSROC Super6 players Connor Gordon (Stirling Wolves), Kwagga van Niekerk (Watsonians) and Korie Winters (Southern Knights) selected, with Jamie Jack – recruited from Ampthill RFC last season – also involved for the first time.
Edinburgh Rugby team to face London Scottish at DAM Health Stadium in the Scottish Building Society pre-season friendly
Friday 2 September, kick-off 6.45pm
15. Henry Immelman (16)
14. Jack Blain (20)
13. James Lang VICE-CAPTAIN (19)
12. Chris Dean (121)
11. Jake Henry (0)
10. Charlie Savala (11)
9. Charlie Shiel (45)
1. Nick Auterac (0)
2. Adam McBurney (14)
3. Angus Williams (12)
4. Marshall Sykes (23)
5. Jamie Hodgson (41)
6. Jamie Ritchie CAPTAIN (85)
7. Connor Boyle VICE-CAPTAIN (23)
8. Ben Muncaster (16)
Jamie Jack, Harrison Courtney, Patrick Harrison, Lee-Roy Atalifo, Dan Gamble, Jamie Campbell, Pierce Philips, Connor Gordon, Nick Haining, Kwagga van Niekerk, Henry Pyrgos, Ben Vellacott, Jaco van der Walt, Finn Douglas, Cammy Hutchison, Cammy Scott, Matt Currie, Korie Winters, Damien Hoyland.
Squad Update | Munster Prepare For Bayonne At Thomond
The Munster squad are preparing at the HPC ahead of Saturday’s Investec Champions Cup opener against Bayonne at Thomond Park (5.30pm).
Buy match tickets here.
Jean Kleyn will be unavailable until the New Year due to an eye injury suffered in the Leinster match. He attended for a specialist review last Tuesday and Wednesday and will have further follow-up before Christmas.
Jack Daly (ankle) and Liam Coombes (shoulder) both underwent surgery last week and will begin rehabilitation under the medical department.
There is good news for Patrick Campbell (ankle) as he has returned to team training.
Jack O’Donoghue (ankle) will also return to training this week.
Simon Zebo (knee) will continue to rehabilitate early this week.
The availability of Campbell, O’Donoghue and Zebo will be determined later in the week.
Peter O’Mahony (shoulder) is improving but will remain unavailable for the Bayonne clash.
Continuing to rehab: Jack Daly (ankle), Peter O’Mahony (shoulder), Liam Coombes (shoulder), RG Snyman (chest/shoulder), Joey Carbery (wrist), Roman Salanoa (knee), Mike Haley (hip), Cian Hurley (ankle/achilles), Niall Scannell (groin).
There were 11 Munster players in AIL action for their clubs at the weekend.
In Division 1A, Fionn Gibbons, Chris Moore and Keynan Knox helped Young Munster to a win over City of Armagh with Gibbons among the tries.
Ethan Coughlan and Daniel Okeke were in action for Shannon as they were beaten away to Terenure College.
In Division 1B, Jack Oliver, George Hadden and Colm Hogan helped Garryowen beat Blackrock College with Hogan scoring a try on his debut for the club. Oliver also kicked three conversions and two penalties.
Jack O’Sullivan and Ben O’Connor featured for UCC as they were narrowly beaten by Old Wesley.
In Evan O’Connell helped UL Bohemians to a draw against MU Barnhall.
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Peter O’Mahony Steps Down After Over 10 Years As Munster Captain
Munster Rugby can confirm that Peter O’Mahony has made the decision to step down as squad captain after over 10 years leading the province.
O’Mahony first captained Munster in a competitive game on September 3, 2011 at the age of 21. It was just his 12th appearance for the province and he led the side for the opening five games of that season.
He took over the Munster captaincy on a permanent basis ahead of the 2013/14 season following the departure of Doug Howlett.
The 2022/23 season was O’Mahony’s 10th year as squad captain and ended with glory in Cape Town as he lifted the URC title with Keith Earls after a thrilling win over the Stormers.
Along with captaining Munster, he has also led Ireland and the British & Irish Lions.
Head Coach Graham Rowntree and the coaching team will select a new squad captain in due course.
Peter O’Mahony said: “Captaining Munster has been a dream come true for me.
“I grew up watching and idolising the Munster team and in particular the people who were leading the team.
“People like Mick Galwey, Jim Williams then on to the likes of ROG and Paul, who I had the privilege of playing with at the start of my career.
“I can remember the day I was asked to be captain like it was yesterday and discussing it with Paul to get his approval.
“From that day to this it’s been an utter privilege and has never been something I’ve taken for granted.
“However, having given a huge amount of thought to it, I think it is the right time to step back from the role to share my experiences and give the same guidance that I received when I took on the role.
“What an unbelievable honour it has been…and will always continue to be.”
Paying tribute to O’Mahony’s over 10 years as captain, Rowntree said: “You couldn’t pick a better leader than Pete and he has been a fantastic captain for this club.
“To lead Munster from such a young age and for so many years speaks volumes of his ability as a player on the pitch and a person off it.
“He commands huge respect and will still be a massive leader within the group. To have someone of Pete’s experience on hand to help us with the succession process is invaluable.
“We have a strong leadership group within the squad and will confirm a new squad captain in due course.”
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Squad Update | Munster Prepare For Leinster In Dublin
The Munster squad are preparing at the HPC ahead of Saturday’s URC round 6 clash against Leinster at the Aviva Stadium (6.30pm, live on TG4).
Our next home game is against Glasgow Warriors at Musgrave Park on Friday, December 1 (7.35pm). Buy match tickets here.
Following Saturday’s win over Stormers, Peter O’Mahony (shoulder) and Jack O’Donoghue (ankle) will both go for scans on their respective injuries.
Diarmuid Barron has progressed through the return to play protocols and will be available for selection.
Continuing to rehab: Liam Coombes (shoulder), RG Snyman (chest/shoulder), Joey Carbery (wrist), Patrick Campbell (ankle), Roman Salanoa (knee), Mike Haley (hip), Cian Hurley (ankle/achilles), Niall Scannell (groin).
On the AIL front, there were nine Munster players in action for their clubs at the weekend.
In Division 1A, Keynan Knox and Fionn Gibbons helped Young Munster to a win over Terenure College at Tom Clifford Park.
Ethan Coughlan and Daniel Okeke were in action for Shannon as they were beaten by Lansdowne in Dublin.
In Division 1B, Jack Oliver and George Hadden lined out for Garryowen as they were beaten by St Mary’s College with Oliver kicking a conversion and a penalty.
Jack O’Sullivan was a try-scorer for UCC with Ben O’Connor also starting as they beat Queen’s University at the Mardyke.
In Division 1B, Evan O’Connell helped UL Bohemian to a 16-12 victory over Ballymena at Annacotty.
URC Round 7: Friday, December 1
Munster v Glasgow Warriors, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here
Champions Cup Round 1: Saturday, December 9
Munster Rugby v Bayonne, Thomond Park, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 8: Tuesday, December 26
Munster v Leinster, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here
Champions Cup Round 4: Saturday, January 20
Munster Rugby v Northampton Saints, Thomond Park, 5.30pm; Buy tickets here
Saturday, February 3
Munster Rugby v Crusaders, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, 5pm; Buy final tickets here
URC Round 11: Friday, March 1
Munster v Zebre Parma, Musgrave Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 13: Saturday, March 30
Munster v Cardiff Rugby, Thomond Park, 7.35pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 16: Saturday, May 11
Munster v Connacht, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here
URC Round 18: Saturday, June 1
Munster v Ulster, Thomond Park, 5.15pm; Buy tickets here
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