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'He knows the South African teams in our league well': New Edinburgh boss' 'bonus'

By PA
Cell C Sharks head coach Sean Everitt before the United Rugby Championship match between Ulster and Cell C Sharks at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast. (Photo By Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Stevie Lawrie revealed Edinburgh are driven to get back into the United Rugby Championship play-offs as they bid to bounce back from the disappointment of last season.

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The team from Scotland’s capital lost 12 of their 18 league matches as they ended last term in 12th, five places below where they finished the previous year.

But Edinburgh – who begin their new campaign away to Dragons on Saturday – are confident things will be better this time around.

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“We need to make sure we’re back into those play-off spots, that’s really important,” said forwards coach Lawrie.

“We’re realistic about our targets and where we’re growing from because last season was really disappointing. We need to make sure we’re in that business end at the end of the season.”

Edinburgh begin the season under new management, with South African Sean Everitt having arrived in the summer to take over after Mike Blair stepped away from his role as head coach earlier this year.

Lawrie has been impressed with the way the former Sharks coach has gone about his business so far.

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“Sean’s come in and stamped his authority on the group pretty quickly,” said Lawrie.

“He’s quite softly spoken but we’re in no uncertain terms about how he wants us to be as a group.

“He’s driving the resilience of the group and how hard they’re working. He’s been excellent.

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“He comes with a lot of experience of a long time with the Sharks and that’s a bonus because he knows the South African teams in our league well.

“He’s brought a lot of knowledge and a really good understanding of how to run the organisation in a hard-working and resilient way.”

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Edinburgh have named five debutants in their starting XV for the Dragons match, with stand-off Ben Healy and prop Javan Sebastian – who both represented Scotland at the World Cup this autumn – joined by Ross McCann, Cameron Neild and Tom Dodd.

Scotland forwards Sam Skinner and Dave Cherry also start but Ewan Ashman, Grant Gilchrist, Blair Kinghorn, Viliame Mata, Duhan van der Merwe, WP Nel, Pierre Schoeman, Hamish Watson and Emiliano Boffelli are among a raft of internationals not included.

Darcy Graham and Jamie Ritchie are still recovering from the injuries that forced them off in Scotland’s defeat by Ireland a fortnight ago.

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1 Comment
e
etienne 270 days ago

Good luck Sean on the new venture with Scottish Rugby. Its always good seeing a South African going up in life. Look well after our URC brothers, may it go well but not to well😀

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