Edinburgh head coach Rob Moffat has confirmed his 40-player squad for the 2010/11 season and believes the Scottish outfit have struck the right balance between youth and experience in their summer transfer activity.
Edinburgh will be looking to build on last season’s promising performance in the Magners League when they narrowly missed out on an inaugural Play-Off place.
Having finished in sixth spot last time out and made a number of changes over recent weeks, Moffat believes his side are well-placed to fulfil the task of challenging for honours while fostering native talent.
"We had a good look at the make-up of the squad and I think we've got it spot on. Last year we had 35 Scots and Tim Visser, who did really well as the only non-Scot in the mix," said Moffat.
"If we're going to sign non-Scots, we have to make sure it's the right person, because with only two professional teams, we have to develop Scottish talent. I'm confident we've brought in the right kind of players with the right kind of character.
"Alex Grove will add to a midfield mix that was already competitive, and Esteban Lozada and Netani Talei will each contribute something different. They're experienced players who have played in top leagues, and they'll come at it from a different angle. They'll be good for the team and good for the coaches."
Lozada, the Argentina lock who played against Scotland in 2008, arrives in the capital today. He comes with the recommendation of Jonny Wilkinson and Tana Umaga, two world-renowned rugby greats who worked alongside him at his previous club Toulon.
"Esteban's references were pretty much impeccable. I told his agent I wanted to know a bit more about him, and those were the names he gave me to speak to. They both had nothing but good things to say about him, which was hugely encouraging," added Moffat
The Edinburgh coach also expects the club's fresh intake of young players to mount an immediate challenge for first team selection.
"It's a blank sheet here. If they're good enough, they'll be playing. They're not here to make up the numbers or just for us to have a big squad. It's up to them to say they should be picked."
During the first week of August, Edinburgh will hold a training camp in St Andrews as part of their pre-season preparations. Their opening friendly is away to Bath on Saturday August 21, with London Irish kicking off the Murrayfield action on Friday 27 August (kick-off 7.30pm).
EDINBURGH SQUAD FOR SEASON 2010/11
Backs: Alex Blair, David Blair, Mike Blair, Ben Cairns, Nick De Luca, Andrew Easson, Phil Godman, Alex Grove (loan), John Houston, Lee Jones, James King, Greig Laidlaw, Chris Paterson, Mark Robertson, Ross Samson, James Thompson, Andrew Turnbull, Tim Visser, Simon Webster
Forwards: Fraser Brown, Geoff Cross, David Denton, Ross Ford, Jack Gilding, Roddy Grant, Craig Hamilton, Allan Jacobsen, Andrew Kelly, Esteban Lozada, Alan MacDonald, Scott MacLeod, Stuart McInally, Fraser McKenzie, Lewis Niven, Scott Newlands, Ross Rennie, Netani Talei, Kyle Traynor, Steven Turnbull, David Young
Head coach: Rob Moffat
Assistant coaches: Tom Smith, Nick Scrivener