PREVIEW | Gilchrist: "We've been preparing for Ospreys since day one."

After an impressive Summer Tour in the dark blue of Scotland, Grant Gilchrist is back in the capital and raring to go on the eve of the 2018/19 Guinness PRO14 season.

Despite missing out on both of Edinburgh’s pre-season fixtures, the influential second-row will undoubtedly play a major role in the club’s tricky start to the new campaign, which starts this Friday against Ospreys.

Edinburgh travel to Swansea searching for their first win at the Liberty Stadium since 2009, however Gilchrist believes the hard work he, and his teammates, have put in this offseason will pay dividends in achieving a positive result.

“We’ve worked really hard in pre-season, and had two good hit outs against good Premiership sides in Bath and Newcastle,” said the second-row.

“It was great to get the win at the weekend down in Newcastle, but we understand that it doesn’t really count for much – it’s good preparation, but it’s all about how we perform this weekend.

“All thoughts are on Ospreys on Friday night. We’re going down there to put our best performance out there and hope that brings us home the points.

Off the back of a season in which Edinburgh qualified for both Guinness PRO14 Final Series and the Heineken Champions Cup, Gilchrist is well aware of the expectations that have been placed on his shoulders.

However, the 24-times capped internationalist reiterates that his side are taking nothing for granted and that the team’s hardworking mantra is still at the core of their beliefs.

“We’re going to prepare as best we can every week, and we want to win every week – that’s about as far as we’re going to put it. We’re not talking about play-offs.

“Week-on-week we want to win every game that we’re playing – I know that’s pretty obvious, but at the same time, we’ll come up against some quality sides and we’re going to aim to beat them every week.

“It’s about a balance. We have to combine the confidence of last season with a belief that we can go to places like Ospreys and win. But - we have to understand that it takes a huge amount of hard work in training, and in games to get that kind of result.

“Ospreys are a top-quality side and nobody is going to give you anything in this league. There’s two sides of the coin. You want to take that confidence from last season, but balance it with the realism that we didn’t win any play-off games last year.”

And Gilchrist’s one-game-at-a-time philosophy starts this weekend in Swansea, in a game that second-row admits has been Edinburgh’s sole focus for some time.

“We’ve put a lot emphasis on this first game against Ospreys. We’ve been preparing for it since day one of pre-season.

“We feel like we’re in a good place, but those pre-season games count for nothing, it’s how we perform on Friday night. It’s an exciting time and hopefully we can get the season started with a big win.”