Press Pass: Everitt ahead of DHL Stormers

Press Pass: Everitt ahead of DHL Stormers

Get the latest from Head Coach Sean Everitt ahead of Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship match against DHL Stormers in Cape Town.

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On facing DHL Stormers in Cape Town

“Coming to Cape Town is always a difficult task as Stormers have done exceptionally well here over the last two campaigns. They rarely lose at the DHL Stadium. They’re a very good team that’s also grown depth over their squad.

“Bringing our team here, like any northern hemisphere team, is always a challenge. But the belief is there. Edinburgh got a win over the Sharks here two years ago and the Ospreys got a win over the Lions at Ellis Park several weeks ago.

“So there’s a bit of belief building that teams can be beaten in South Africa and that’s a mindset we’ve got to take over these two games.”


On whether Edinburgh have a target on their back in the top-four

“You can see by the log it’s really tight. The Stormers are sitting in ninth because they are only four points behind us.

“If we don’t get a win this weekend we could find ourselves in ninth position. So it’s something that probably won’t be decided until the final round of the URC, who finishes in the top eight and top four.

“I think any of the top eight or nine teams just now would have an opportunity to challenge for a place in the top four. I’m sure that’s what those teams will be playing for rather than playing against the name of the opposition.”


On there being ‘no margin for either’

“Yes, very much so but at the same time you have to understand that there are still seven games still to be played.

“We’ve got home games as well so if you do slip up in one of your games away from home then it’s not the end of the world.

“It’s about how you get back on the horse. But every win you can get away from home is an absolute bonus. We’re going out on Saturday to beat the Stormers.”


On Edinburgh Rugby’s travelling squad

“The majority of our Scotland internationals will be available for the second game. Unfortunately for us now all of them have been released but rightfully so.

“They’ve had a busy Six Nations, one of their closest competitions for many years. They deserve a rest and at Edinburgh we respect the pressures that are on our international players.

“We’ve got a guy like Ewan Ashman who has come out here with us. He is available to play but I understand he’s had a really busy six weeks away from home so he will be resting this week.

“We just want to give them every opportunity to be back on the song for the rest of the season.”


On being back in South Africa

“It’s great to be back in South Africa. We were born under the hot sun so we miss it when we’re in Scotland!

“I presume when we get back it will be a lot better there. I’ve seen some old faces already and I look forward to meeting the coaching staff of the Stormers over the next couple of days.”


On the challenges of travelling to South Africa

“If we look at the past games, the northern hemisphere teams have found it hard to win here. So we have to get the players to believe.

“We’ve had two games at home against South African teams and on their day we can beat any of them. We beat the Bulls who are on fire at the moment but have to believe we can also beat these teams away from home.

“Edinburgh had a taste of success before and it’s still spoken about as I was a coach at the Sharks at the time!

“Secondly there’s the climate. There’s a vast difference between playing in Scotland at this time of year and playing in the hot sun. If we look at the weather for Saturday it doesn’t look too bad but it’s about us getting used to the conditions.”


On which Scotland players are available

“Ben Healy and Sam Skinner.”


On the benefits of team bonding over two weeks away together

“Yes, very much so. We spoke about it last night and had a good chat in the team room about that. It’s not often you get away like this.

“The South African teams tend to go away for four weeks at a time and you tend to build a lot of relationships when you’re away from home and spending so much time together.

“It’s a great opportunity for us and the players are really relishing that over the next two weeks. When they’re not training the guys are getting out and getting a coffee together.

“Sometimes there’s rugby chat at all which is good for us as coaches but generally just feeling the love of one another like brothers is important. We all know it’s a team sport and you all need to play for each other. So the stronger those relationships are the better.”


On South Africans heading to Edinburgh

“I said upon my arrival that my transition from South Africa to Scotland was made easier by the people around me and the Scottish welcome that I got.

“The people have been very hospitable and they’re very friendly people too. It’s an easy transition for anyone to come and live in Edinburgh.

“It’s a small rugby community and the players have a social responsibility to that so they feel part of a family when they come there.

“It’s a great environment to be in. The club is quite intimate in its size. There aren’t the same numbers as we tend to have in our clubs in South Africa so you tend to stick closer to one another which gives you that homely feeling.”

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