Need to Know: Edinburgh v Munster, Champions Cup quarter-final match preview 2018/19

KO 12.45pm
BT Murrayfield

Saturday 30th March 2019
Live on BT Sport 3

Champions Cup stats:

  • Saturday’s crowd may top the 37,882 who watched Edinburgh’s last European Cup quarter-final against Toulouse in 2012.
  • Stuart McInally, Grant Gilchrist and Ross Ford all featured in that knockout fixture 7 years ago. Gilcho is the only player to start both matches.
  • Edinburgh are going for their 6th consecutive win in the Champions Cup. This would be their longest ever streak in the tournament, beating their run during the 2003/04 season.
  • If Edinburgh win they will either travel to play Saracens at the Ricoh Arena or host Glasgow at Murrayfield.
  • Keith Earls’ 62 Champions Cup appearances are only one less than the combined tally for all 7 members of the Edinburgh backline.

15 Darcy Graham
14 Damien Hoyland
13 James Johnstone
12 Chris Dean
11 Duhan van der Merwe
10 Jaco van der Walt
9 Henry Pyrgos
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Munster
ADV Munster
ADV Munster
ADV Munster
15 Mike Haley
14 Andrew Conway
13 Chris Farrell
12 Rory Scannell
11 Keith Earls
10 Joey Carbery
9 Conor Murray

1 Pierre Schoeman
2 Stuart McInally (c)
3 WP Nel
4 Ben Toolis
5 Grant Gilchrist
6 John Barclay
7 Hamish Watson
8 Viliame Mata
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Munster
ADV Edinburgh

1 Dave Kilcoyne
2 Niall Scanell
3 John Ryan
4 Jean Kleyn
5 Tadhg Beirne
6 Peter O’Mahony (c)
7 Jack O’Donoghue
8 CJ Stander

16 Ross Ford
17 Allan Dell
18 Simon Berghan
19 Magnus Bradbury
20 Jamie Ritchie
21 Charlie Shiel
22 Simon Hickey
23 Mark Bennett
ADV Munster
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Edinburgh
ADV Munster
ADV Munster
ADV Edinburgh

16 Rhys Marshall
17 Jeremy Loughman
18 Stephen Archer
19 Billy Holland
20 Arno Botha
21 Alby Mathewson
22 Tyler Bleyendaal
23 Dan Goggin

Starting XV stats:

10 Champions Cup tries 43
63 Champions Cup appearances 207
3 Capped players 6

894kg Pack weight 876kg
574kg Tight 5 weight 557kg
144 Champions Cup appearances 242
7 Capped players 7

Changes from Round 6:

Edinburgh’s Champions Cup run has been built on consistency of selection. This will be the 5th European game in a row for most of the starting XV. A return from injury sees John Barclay slotting into a Test quality pack. Going the other way is Blair Kinghorn who is replaced by Damien Hoyland with Darcy Graham moving to full back.

Edinburgh Introductions:

Damien Hoyland will make his Champions Cup debut, as will Charlie Shiel from the bench. John Barclay will play in this competition for Edinburgh for the first time more than 13 years after his European Cup debut for Glasgow against Bourgoin on 21st October 2005. Side note – Charlie Shield was 7 years old when JB played in that game…

Edinburgher to Eyeball:

Even in a back row that features the carrying monster Viliame Mata plus Scotland captain and breakdown king John Barclay the unstoppable force that is Hamish Watson stands out. His highlight reel is filled with the pinballing carries that have become his trademark.

While his contribution in attack will no doubt be a positive for Edinburgh it’s what he gets up to on the other side of the ball that could be really telling. Hamish’s work over the ball is exemplary and with the home side likely to be looking to kick and press with the desire to win possession in good field position his ability to turn over the opposition could prove crucial.

Edinburgh’s Track Record…

…at home against Irish sides in the Champions Cup:

  • 5 wins
  • 3 losses

Edinburgh 21 – 23 Ulster (Easter Road, 8/11/98)
Edinburgh 29 – 21 Leinster (Myreside, 6/10/00)
Edinburgh 25 – 24 Leinster (Murrayfield, 29/10/06)
Edinburgh 29 – 10 Leinster (Murrayfield, 15/12/07)
Edinburgh 16 – 27 Leinster (Murrayfield, 11/10/08)
Edinburgh 17 – 13 Ulster (Murrayfield, 17/10/09)
Edinburgh 17 – 26 Munster (Murrayfield, 13/1/13)
Edinburgh 29 – 23 Munster (Murrayfield, 12/10/13)

Most recent meeting at Murrayfield:


Referee: Pascal Gauzere (Fra)
AR1: Ludovic Cayre (Fra)
AR2: Jonathan Dufort (Fra)
TMO: Eric Gauzins (Fra)

There should be no shortage of game tape and practical experience when it comes to M. Gauzere. The French official has taken charge of 5 Scotland matches in the last 2 years and the Edinburgh forwards in particular should have a good handle on his tendencies.

M. Gauzere has dished out 22.1 penalties per game in the Top 14 – which is pretty much bang on the average fir that league. Those numbers would put him at the top end for Premiership refs and are about 10% higher than even the most whistle happy PRO14 officials.

Additional ref stats from the excellent resources at

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s