Richard Cockerill has vowed Edinburgh will use the disappointment of seeing hopes of European qualification next season fade to fuel this term’s European bid.

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The capital club are now all but out of contention for a top-three finish in the Guinness PRO14’s B conference and a slot in the Champions Cup next year after Saturday’s 27-15 loss to Scarlets.

But they still have a last 16 tie in this season’s competition to look forward to after tournament organisers announced a rejigging of the competition’s format in response to the Covid-19 crisis.

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The draw for the first knockout round will take place on March 9, with the action set to resume in the first weekend of April.

Reflecting on the defeat to Glenn Delaney’s side, Cockerill said: “We’ve been doing some good stuff. It was a decent game, decent weather, both sides were very positive.

“Three tries apiece. It’s a game we could have easily won but the odd error costs you at this level.

“We’ll keep playing, we’ll keep developing our squad, we’ve still got Europe to play in as well – which will be big for us.

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“There’s been a lot of things happening this season and we’ve just got to deal with the disappointment, dust ourselves off and come back here next Sunday and play Benetton.”

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