Cockerill delighted with the return of Scotland internationals

Edinburgh's Grant Gilchrist, right, is on a high after his Scotland exploits
Edinburgh's Grant Gilchrist, right, is on a high after his Scotland exploits

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill is confident that the return of the Scotland internationals will boost the side's morale ahead of the upcoming Pro 14 clash against Southern Kings.

Six of Scotland's players that took part in the recent autumn internationals has been named in the starting XV when they meet the South African side at Nelson Mandela Bay on Friday.

Phil Burleigh, Simon Berghan, Grant Gilchrist and Cornell du Preez all come into the starting line-up for the Guinness PRO14 encounter after helping Scotland to an eight-try victory over Australia last weekend. Flanker Jamie Ritchie starts after returning from Scotland duty and fellow international Rory Sutherland make his first start of the season at loosehead prop.

A seventh Scotland player, Ben Toolis, will be on the bench in Port Elizabeth on Friday after coming on against the Wallabies.

Cockerill said: "I'm delighted to have some of the Scotland guys come out and add to the squad.

"There's obviously a good vibe around what they've achieved over the last few weeks, so you'd like to think that will have a ripple effect on what they do now they're back with us."

Kings have lost all nine games this season and are languishing at the bottom of Conference B but Cockerill has warned his team against any complacency.

"The Kings are a dangerous team," he said. "They have a lot of pace in their back three, are very lively at fly half, and as you would imagine, have a big forward pack.

"We've worked hard again this week and are going into the game with a positive mindset around how we're going to play.

"These points are going to be important when the season comes around to qualifying for Europe or trying to push for a top-three spot if we can. We won't be taking the Kings lightly however.

"They pushed Ulster and Scarlets all the way in their last few games so we've got to get things right on Friday night."

Edinburgh are currently positioned fourth in Conference B with five wins from nine matches.