Everitt: Zebre clash ‘vitally important’

Everitt: Zebre clash ‘vitally important’

Edinburgh Rugby return to BKT United Rugby Championship action tonight, facing Zebre Pama at Stadio Sergio Lanfanchi (kick-off 7.35pm GMT), a match that Head Coach Sean Everitt has labelled ‘vitally important.’

Sitting in sixth place in the Championship, Everitt’s side are well in the mix for a play-off place, however picking up road wins could prove the difference in the race for a top-eight position.

“We chatted about it during the week, it’s a massively important game partly due to the league position but also due to the fact there’s a lot of teams in the top eight playing each other this weekend,” said Everitt.

“The Lions are two points off us and will be playing against the Bulls on the weekend so for us to keep the destiny in our own hands it’s vital for us to get a win.

“We don’t want to slip up an opportunity to build a gap between first, second, third and fourth to fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth because if everything goes our way this weekend and we get five points we could go into the top four.

“Then if we win against Ospreys then that weekend you see the fixtures, there’s a lot of teams who play each other in round 11 as well so it could create an opportunity for us if we get a full house of points again  – but it’s one step at a time with Zebre and we know how important it is to get a victory this weekend.”

The capital side are able to welcome back seven Scotland internationalists for tonight’s match-up in Parma, with experienced campaigners like Jamie Ritchie and Ali Price both handed starts at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.

And for Everitt, selection problems are always a good problem to have, especially during the international window.

“I’m very happy with the squad we have, I didn’t expect to get so many players back from the Scottish set up,” continued the Head Coach.

“It shows the national team is working closely with Edinburgh and Glasgow and they take the URC very seriously but there are players who have come back who haven’t played rugby since the Scarlets game which is four to five weeks now.

“It’s a good opportunity for them to get some game time to put themselves in contention for selection and obviously get them up to speed from a game time point of view so if Gregor needs them, they are ready to go.”

He continued: “It’s great to have Jamie [Ritchie] back, particularly in the leadership role. I think it will help him regain confidence after the disappointment that he’s gone through.

“He’s really motivated to do well, and leadership does motivate Jamie. So it’s great that he gets an opportunity to come in and start, and lead the team, to put himself into contention for selection against England next week.”

Playing alongside Ritchie in the back-row is fellow Scotland internationalist Hamish Watson.

The British & Irish Lion makes his 150th appearance for the club tonight, becoming only the 11th player in Edinburgh history to reach the milestone.

“I think it’s a great achievement from a world-class player. We’re always privileged to have British & Irish Lions within our squad,” said Everitt.

“Hamish has been a great example to the younger guys coming through in the way he trains, his professionalism on and off the field – and obviously from his performances on the field as well.

“So we’re very privileged to have Hamish playing his 150th this weekend. He is highly motivated, he’s a competitor, so he’ll still be competing for a place in the Scottish side.

“But it’s just great for him, and obviously an added motivation for him to do well against Zebre this weekend.”

Spread the word

Newsletter Sign-up

Sign-up for our newsletter today to receive the latest updates, content and releases from Edinburgh Rugby.


Principal Partners