Edinburgh Rugby head coach Michael Bradley says a blend of confidence of excitement are the overriding emotions as the squad prepares to face three-time European champions, Leinster, in Dublin tomorrow (kick-off 6.15pm) – live on BBC ALBA.
The sides go into the match with a two from three record, each losing their tournament opener before adjusting their fortunes by putting over 40 points past their opponents at home and needing a last minute drop goal to earn success on the road.
A formidable adversary in Dublin, Leinster lost just two games at the Showground last season, with Edinburgh’s last win in the Irish capital dating back to 2005.
However, despite a well-documented pedigree in performance and formidable home record, Bradley believes Edinburgh Rugby can take confidence from their start to their season and the buoyancy of the players ahead of the game.
“Leinster have consistently been the in-form side in northern hemisphere rugby, winning three Heineken Cups and finishing in the top three of the RaboDirect PRO12 for the past eight years, narrowly missing out on the league title at the RDS last season,” he said.
“They’re a quality side through and through and, because of that, our players will find this game an exciting challenge.
“I’ve been impressed by the willingness to be meticulous in our preparations and go the extra mile this season. We will be well-prepared to face Leinster in Dublin.”
Bradley has made three changes to the side that put five tries past Zebre at Murrayfield last weekend, taking the opportunity to rest try-machine Tim Visser with Tom Brown now back to full fitness.
In the pack, the return of prop Geoff Cross and flanker Roddy Grant completes the changes to the front-line, while a quality quartet of youngsters are set for their first competitive outing of the season from the bench: Robin Hislop, Robert McAlpine, Harry Leonard and Dougie Fife.
“We’re going into this game with a lot of confidence and a degree of excitement in terms of the possibility of what we can achieve,” added Bradley.
“There’s a lot to build on from our first three games, having played well in a number of key areas.
“The difference will come in the number of chances we can create as Leinster’s defence has been the key component in their success in recent years.
“I think they will focus on that element against us because of the type of side we are but, if we create enough chances and continue to increase our conversion rate from the last three games, then we’ll be confident of winning this game.”
Edinburgh Rugby team to play Leinster at the RDS, Dublin, tomorrow (Saturday 22 September), kick-off 6.15pm.
15 Greig Tonks
14 Lee Jones
13 Nick De Luca
12 Matt Scott
11 Tom Brown
10 Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN
9 Richie Rees
1 John Yapp
2 Ross Ford
3 Geoff Cross
4 Grant Gilchrist
5 Sean Cox
6 Stuart McInally
7 Roddy Grant
8 Netani Talei
16 Andy Titterrell
17 Robin Hislop
18 Willem Nel
19 Robert McAlpine
20 Dimitri Basilaia
21 Chris Leck
22 Harry Leonard
23 Dougie Fife
Not available: Ben Atiga (hip), Ben Cairns (knee), David Denton (thigh), Steven Lawrie (knee), Perry Parker (ankle), Steven Turnbull (knee)