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Laidlaw demands league consistency

Guinness PRO12 Editor

27 Aug 2012

Edinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw maintains last season’s 11th place finish in the RaboDirect PRO12 was unacceptable despite their heroics in the Heineken Cup.


Only the now defunct Aironi prevented the Gunners finishing bottom of the pile and Laidlaw admits their sensational journey to the last four of the Heineken led to them taking their eyes off the ball.

However with the addition of 10 new players to the squad, the Scotland scrum-half believes Edinburgh now have the depth to fight on two fronts and argues their European exploits demonstrate they should fear no one.

“We didn’t set out to finish second bottom in the league, the focus really shifted onto the Heineken Cup and looking back that was unacceptable.

“That is something we need to put right this year. The form we showed in the Heineken cup last season is the form we should take into the league; it’s as simple as that.

“I think the signings we have made and strengthening the squad goes a long way to get the consistency we are after.

“I think if we can produce the form we showed in Europe, teams will not be looking forward to coming up to Murrayfield to play us. It is important we start the league campaign well and that will stand us in good stead for the rest of the season.

“Everyone associated with the club enjoyed the Heineken Cup and the city got behind us. We want to experience that again and not be languishing at the bottom of the league.”

Among the new arrivals are scrum-half Richie Rees, prop John Yapp, hooker Andy Titterrell and full-back Greig Tonks.

Yet the most significant new face may have become behind the scenes with the appointment of World Cup winning forwards coach Neil Back.

And head coach Michael Bradley expects to see an instant dividend on Back’s recruitment once they kick off their RaboDirect PRO12 campaign against Munster on Saturday night.

“It is exciting with the players we have recruited,” he said. “He felt we had to improve in those areas. “We have to be better and we have different personnel to challenge ourselves in terms of knitting together a game plan and they also create different opportunities to put pressure on the position.

“Neil Back was very impressive in his interview in terms of his ability to drill down in detail certain areas of the game particularly the forwards.

“You know by his demeanour he is very focused. His values align very nicely where we want to take the club and he is contributing handsomely to the end product.

“We would be hoping that our pack can reflect those values in terms of how we play. That will create opportunities for the team as a whole which is very exciting for us.”