Edinburgh head coach Sean Everitt believes players in his team have points to prove when they take on Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday.  

Everitt has handed a debut to 23-year-old wing Jake Henry, while Sam Skinner and Ben Healy both return from the Scotland squad having had limited involvement during the Six Nations.  

While Edinburgh are resting Duhan van der Merwe, Ewan Ashman, Jamie Ritchie, Pierre Schoeman and Grant Gilchrist, the head coach hopes his returning internaitonal duo can hit the ground running.  

“Both Sam [Skinner] and Ben [Healy] would have liked more time during the Six Nations but it wasn't to be.  

“We've got to commend Grant Gilchrist on his form in the Six Nations, he was probably one of the better locks in the competition this year.  

“For Sam it's about putting minutes together on the rugby field. He struggled with injury post the World Cup and only got to play against Glasgow towards the end of December. He will be relishing the opportunity to get more game time.  

“For Ben, I don't think anyone can question why he didn't get more time during the Six Nations with Finn Russell being in the form he was in, and the Six Nations being the competition it is, you want to have your captain on the field all the time.  

“Ben has done well with us - he's the top points scorer in the URC and we're looking to these guys to bring their international experience and guide the team forward.” 

Healy will go directly up against Manie Libbock, the man who pulled the strings for the Springboks in their Rugby World Cup win over Scotland.  

But the Scotland international is returning to the scene of his URC title triumph with Munster last season, and Everitt hopes he can tap into that experience again on Saturday.   

The Edinburgh coach added: “He performed admirably that day. It does help us the experience he gained from winning the URC, especially against the team they managed to beat in the final.” 

Henry, who has come through the soon-to-be disbanded Super Series, will make his competitive professional debut after overcoming a host of injuries, including damaging his anterior cruciate ligament.  

Everitt said: “He’s been through some adversity with all the injuries that he’s had to deal with over the last couple of years, so I’m just so proud that he’s managed to work his way back and earn a spot in the team this weekend.  

Scotland Rugby News: Jake Henry played for Edinburgh in pre-season but will make his competitive debut against StormersJake Henry played for Edinburgh in pre-season but will make his competitive debut against Stormers (Image: SNS)

“With Jake now showing the confidence in training after being out for a long period of time, I think the time is right to select a youngster like that so we can see what he is capable of. I 

“He is really good under the high ball, and we know that is a tactic Stormers use a lot - they do kick a lot looking to win the ball back, and that's definitely a strength of Jake's so it makes sense that we have a look at him especially with the injury to Darcy and a guy like Duhan being out." 

Everitt said he hopes Darcy Graham will return for the URC play-off matches, while fellow Scotland international Harry Paterson is expected to miss the next four to six weeks with a stress fracture of his foot.  

But Everitt admitted they won’t rush Graham – who has endured a tough 12 months – back from his latest injury.  

“We're not going to risk his injury - he's got too much value for us. He's extended his contract with us so we need to look after him and make sure he's available for the majority of the next URC campaign." 

Scotland Rugby News: Darcy Graham is expected back before the end of the seasonDarcy Graham is expected back before the end of the season (Image: SNS)

WP Nel starts and will make his 200th appearance for the club – becoming just the third player in Edinburgh’s history following Chris Paterson and Allan Jacobsen – to hit the milestone.  

Everitt added: “It’s great that WP is able to get his 200th game here in Cape Town. He is from a little town close to Cape Town, so it’s going to be quite special for his family and friends.” 

Edinburgh’s set-piece will need to be at its best, with Springboks Frans Malherbe and Salmaan Moerat back for the home side.  

When Edinburgh beat Sharks in Durban to become the first European side to win in South Africa during the inaugural URC season two years ago, they did so in terrible weather conditions.  

This time round, it is set to be dry – but Everitt believes whatever the weather, his team can come out on top.  

“We can win in dry conditions,” he said when asked if Edinburgh needed a repeat of the Durban deluge to triumph.  

“We know that even in rainy weather the Stormers have a powerful tight five.  

"For us it’s about accuracy in our execution. I know that the Stormers model is based on transitions - they’ve got really good line speed and they do put your skill set under pressure. It’s how we deal with those pressure situations that will pull us through.”