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Back demands Edinburgh improvement

Guinness PRO12 Editor

18 Aug 2012

Edinburgh forwards coach Neil Back maintains the Gunners’ position in the RaboDirect PRO12 last season was unacceptable and states he wants to develop his new charges into ‘great players’.

The former Leicester, England and Lions flanker was lured to Scotland after a brief spell in charge of Rugby Lions and is determined to improve his new side’s performances in the RaboDirect PRO12 where they finished second from bottom last season.

The 43-year-old will call on his vast rugby knowledge in a distinguished career to help transform the squad into both European and domestic challengers.

“I admired some of the players previously and now that I’m working with them and getting to know them I believe there are some truly world class players here,” said Back.

“They’re good players, but they can be great players. If I can be a part of helping them progress then it would be a massive achievement.

“Now the pressure is truly on us to perform better in domestic competitions because we do have strength in depth and competition for places.

“If players have to fight for their places at club level it’s going to push them that little bit further.

“Maybe that hasn’t happened in the past. Domestically, where we finished is not good enough.

“Hopefully we can improve and become more consistent throughout the season. There are lots of issues and things to sort out but we have a fantastic management team here and the backroom staff are all top quality people.

“I came up here and met Michael [Bradley], chief executive Craig Docherty and other members of staff.

“We talked through the vision and the future for Edinburgh and it was massively appealing. That’s why I’m here now.”

The 2003 World Cup winner was impressed with Edinburgh’s performances in the Heineken Cup where they became the first Scottish side to reach the semi-final, losing narrowly to Ulster.

He added: “I watched the Heineken Cup semi-final without knowing I would be coming to Edinburgh and was very impressed by the style of play, the fluidity and the quality of players within the squad.”