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'It's almost like Test-match rugby': Schoeman on facing Saracens

By PA
Pierre Schoeman and Hamish Watson /Press Association

Edinburgh prop Pierre Schoeman believes facing in-form Saracens can get his side back to their best.

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Mike Blair’s side open their Heineken Champions Cup campaign in north London on Sunday against the Gallagher Premiership leaders, who have won all nine of their league matches this season.

Edinburgh have lost both of their United Rugby Championship fixtures since the international break and Schoeman knows they have to be more focused against the English side.

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“It actually helps us to fire up because the pressure is much more on us to be at our best, whether that’s in the carry, the contact area or set-piece,” the Scotland international said.

“We have to replicate that in training this week and prep as well as we can. It’s almost like Test-match rugby for these big European games, especially against Saracens, who are on form.”

Schoeman will take encouragement from Edinburgh’s impressive win away at Saracens in the Challenge Cup last season.

“We should take confidence,” he said. “We beat them there, we took them on set-piece wise as well.

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“I know some of their players are going to come back full of confidence to club rugby after the autumn Tests and they are going to want to prove themselves, but we are looking forward to it.

“The pressure is on both teams because they are nine from nine and we are going to go for them. The pressure is on us as well to be more consistent, especially set-piece and the contact area.

“You can’t have weak moments or lack of focus in these games because good-quality sides like that will sniff you out and catch you.”

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