Edinburgh are back in action at the Hive this weekend after their trip to South Africa as they take on Scarlets in the URC. 

Here, Kevin Millar, takes a close look at the match.

KO 7.35 at Hive Stadium
Saturday 20th April 2024

Live on Premier Sports 1

  • There’s some rotation for Edinburgh’s starting XV as they bring in half a dozen players who were on the bench last week against the Sharks, as well as Javan Sebastian who wasn’t involved in the Challenge Cup quarter-final.
  • Edinburgh only have eight players out through injury but five of those eight are back 3 players, leaving Duhan van der Merwe and Wes Goosen as the only specialists and necessitating Matt Currie starting on the wing with Chris Dean providing cover from the bench.
  • 19 of the Scarlets’ lineup were involved in their most recent fixture, when they lost 3 – 45 at home to Glasgow at the end of March.
  • This will be the eighth time that fellow 2021 Lions, Ali Price and Gareth Davies, have started a match in direct opposition, with the Welshman leading their personal head to head by five wins to two.
  • Stand offs Ben Healy and Cammy Scott are the only players in Edinburgh’s matchday squad who have yet to score a try for the club.
  • At 914kgs, this is the heaviest starting pack selected by Edinburgh so far this season.
  • Scarlets haven’t won a URC fixture outwith Wales for more than two years, since they defeated Zebre in Parma at the end of March 2022. Their most recent victory in Scotland was more than three years ago when they edged out Edinburgh 27 – 25 at Murrayfield (with no fans in attendance) in February 2021.


Scotland Rugby News:

(players in CAPITALS are full capped internationals, numbers in brackets are previous appearances for Edinburgh / Scarlets)

Head to Head:

Scotland Rugby News:

Edinburgh Introductions:

Javan Sebastian will make his first start of 2024 as he also gets to take on his former teammates. There are 16 players in the Scarlets’ lineup who featured in Sebastian’s final outing for the Welsh region back in May 2023.

Matchday Milestones:

Chris Dean will make his 50th substitute appearance for Edinburgh when he comes off the bench, more than any other player in the current squad..

Focal Point:

Potentially, there are just three home fixtures remaining for Edinburgh fans to enjoy the powerful contributions of Bill Mata before he moves on to Bristol Bears ahead of next season.

The Fijian number 8 will be a hard act to follow. Since arriving in 2016 clutching an Olympic 7s gold medal, he has been the club’s undisputed primary ball carrier whenever he has been on the pitch.

Mata doesn’t just do volume of work, the quality is exceptionally high too. Working close in around the ruck where there are multiple tacklers to take on, he has consistently provided front foot ball.

Currently he sits sixth in the URC for successful carries – and with a superior ratio compared to total carries than any of the five players above him.

The rumours are that Magnus Bradbury will return to the club over the summer, which might soften the blow a bit, but followers of Edinburgh rugby should savour these last few outings with Bill Mata – they have been fortunate to be able to watch a player of his quality over the last eight years.

League form:

Scotland Rugby News:

Track record…

…at home to Scarlets in the PRO12/PRO14/URC era:

  • 7 wins
  • 1 draw
  • 3 losses
  • 5 Try BPs
  • 1 Losing BP
  • 36 points out of a possible 55 (65%)

Previous match-up v Scarlets at home:


Referee: Eoghan Cross (IRFU, 16th league game)
AR1: Ru Campbell (SRU)
AR2: Michael Todd (SRU)
TMO: Olly Hodges (IRFU)

Mr Cross’s regular season record for 2023/24:

  • Matches – 10
  • Average penalty count – 20.0 per game
  • Home side penalties conceded percentage – 46.5%
  • Average card count – 1.1 per game
  • Penalties per card – 18.4

It’s back to back league encounters with Mr Cross for Edinburgh, after the Irish whistler took charge of their Round 13 match in the URC, away to Sharks three weeks ago.

Mr Cross has been more card happy than usual recently, issuing 11 in total across his last seven games. That tally includes sin binning Charlie Shiel against the Sharks.

The scrum half had made it to his 62nd appearance without picking up a card but he’s part of the bad boys’ club now after the end of his previously unblemished record.

The ref may have his work cut out for him with the league’s most heavily penalised side (Scarlets – 147) and the league’s second most heavily penalised side (Edinburgh – 138) going head to head.

Additional ref stats from: https://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/analysis/referee_heads.php?countryID=3