Press Pass: Everitt on home opener
Get the latest from Senior Coach Sean Everitt as he spoke to media ahead of Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship home clash against Emirates Lions at Hive Stadium (Saturday 28 October, kick-off 5pm).
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On international players return to training
“It’s great to have the guys back. They bring a lot of experience, especially after being at the World Cup, and they are happy to be back.
“They are comfortable in the environment and they will be in contention for the weekend. Pierre Schoeman isn’t available because he has a family bereavement and we’ve sent him back to South Africa to deal with that.”
On the Round 1 win against Dragons RFC in Newport
“It was an ugly win but we’ll take that because we haven’t won in a year. The last time that Edinburgh won away was October 2022 so we are very happy with that.
“Obviously, we aren’t too happy with the performance. Statistically, we did everything required to win the game but our execution let us down. We will give the players some reprieve because it was our first game with lots of new players, so it was never going to be a perfect performance.
“The pleasing thing was that we showed resilience and we stuck to our plan to get the win. The first twenty minutes was an area that let us down but we improved as the game progressed. The guys remained calm and that’s why we were able to pull through.”
On Vellacott’s first game as captain
“It’s not easy in your first game when you’re under the pump away from home and we can’t deny that.
“I thought he handled the situation really well, he stayed composed and handled the task really well. He stayed on the field for the full game and Charlie Shiel didn’t get on, not because he’s a bad player, but because we needed Ben’s leadership.
On Ben Healy’s kicking performance
“He kicks very well, and he got 11 out of 11 against Romania at the World Cup. That’s one of the reasons why he bought him back to Edinburgh, but he’s also a quality player.
“He managed the game really well on Saturday in difficult conditions. The line speed that the Dragons brought on Saturday was hard for us to handle and Ben really helped us with his kicking.
I think we can be guilty of overplaying across the field. They scored 17 points and sometimes you need to manage the game according to the momentum because it’s easier to look after the ball.
“I think we kicked more on Saturday than Edinburgh have kicked for a while but it certainly paid off in the end.”
On Blair Kinghorn’s shift to full-back
“Yes and no, and the reason I say is that there will be times when he might have to step in and over us at 10.
“But primarily [I see him] as a full-back. I believe he’s got good counter-attacking ability and he’s got a good boot on him. He also needs to settle so I’d like to see him more at 15.
“I also like to work towards the national cause and they certainly see him in that position.”
On Emirates Lions this Saturday
“There’s never a good time to get the Lions. They’re a bunch of youngsters who are really keen to impress. They’re a difficult nut to crack and they don’t go away.
“Their style of rugby is unpredictable so we need to be aware they’ll have tricks up their sleeve coming here but at the same time they’ve got a good set-piece, their scrum is strong and they have some really good athletes, and individuals who can beat players one on one.
“Their loose trio may not be that big but they are certainly dynamic with ball in hand so we need to make sure that we don’t concede too many turnovers against them.”