Scotland scrum-half Ali Price is in line to make his Edinburgh debut off the bench in Friday’s United Rugby Championship match at home to the table-topping Bulls after “fitting in really well” since his loan switch from Glasgow.
The 30-year-old joined up with his new colleagues on Monday, a few days after his surprise transfer along the M8 was announced, and he has been named among the substitutes for the showdown with the in-form South African side.
“Ali came in to training on Monday and has fitted in really well,” said senior Edinburgh coach Sean Everitt.
“He seems happy and is enjoying himself, and we thought it would be best to put him on the bench this week to contest for a position rather than waiting.
“He’s a good enough player to be able to slot in tomorrow night.
“We’re delighted to have him because he’s a British and Irish Lion, he’s a Scottish international and we’re working to a common cause, and that’s to give him game time and an opportunity to compete for a national position come the Six Nations.
“A guy of his quality coming to Edinburgh strengthens our squad, he gives us different options with his good kicking game and his experience and decision-making around the ruck.”
Another notable inclusion in the Edinburgh squad is Scotland captain Jamie Ritchie, who gets his first club outing of the season after being named in the starting XV following his recovery from the shoulder injury that forced him off in the World Cup defeat by Ireland six weeks previously.
“It’s great just having him on the paddock and his presence there for the team,” said Everitt. “He brings different options within the lineout and with how we play.
“He is the Scotland captain so he brings leadership as well. In the game we’re about to play against the Bulls, from a physicality point of view, he’ll bring a different edge so we’re very happy to have him back.
“He’s prepared well this week and he trained with the team last week so he should be on top of his game, ready to hit the ground running.”
Ritchie’s return marks one of three changes to the starting XV that kicked off last weekend’s win over Connacht as Edinburgh made it three victories from their opening four matches.
“The Bulls are flying and they’ve picked a full-strength team to take us on,” noted Everitt. “They have a strong power game so we’re going to have to be really good up-front.
“But our guys have been playing really well and we believe we’ve got a good opportunity to turn them over at home. It’s been good to win three out of four.
“It’s been a process integrating players week to week and getting them to understand how I see the game being played. The guys have adapted well so I’m really happy with how we are tracking at the moment.”
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