Press Pass: Zebre up next

Press Pass: Zebre up next

Get the latest from Head Coach Sean Everitt ahead of Friday night’s BKT United Rugby Championship Round 10 match against Zebre Parma at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi (16 February, kick-off 7.35pm GMT) with this week’s Press Pass.

Get the latest from Head Coach Sean Everitt ahead of Friday night’s BKT United Rugby Championship Round 10 match against Zebre Parma at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi (16 February, kick-off 7.35pm GMT) with this week’s Press Pass.

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On the international break

“I went home for 10 days to thaw out a little bit. I’m 12km outside Durban. It was hot as hell.”


On welcoming Scotland players back

“We’ve got WP Nel returning back from injury and getting some game time to put himself in contention for [Scotland] selection.

“Javan Sebastian has also been in the Scottish camp but was injured with us earlier, but he is ready to go. We have Glen Young back in the squad for us as well as Jamie [Ritchie], Ali Price, Ben Healy and Harry Paterson.

“It is great for us to have them back, but it is also good for us to help out Scottish Rugby and give these guys game time in order for them to prepare for England, Italy and Ireland.”


On Darcy Graham  

“Darcy is on his return to play week. Medically they feel he just needs another week of full training. Last week he was training with the rehabilitation group, so it’ll be a good introduction to training for him this week. He should be up and ready to go next week.

“If selected he would be ready to play against England if he gets through this week of training unscathed.”


On not getting back the likes of Ewan Ashman, Sam Skinner

“You’ve got to look at the demands of the team and who is available in those positions. You wouldn’t want one of your top three hookers to be injured in a club game on the weekend when you’re going into a game against England.

“There’s strategy involved in the players that are released. I think youngsters like Harry Paterson, the more he plays the better he’s going to get.

“He hasn’t had a lot of game time over the last 12 months, so that’s understandable. Then there’s guys like Ali [Price] and Ben Healy who haven’t had any game time at all.

“There’s a strategy behind Gregor’s plans and we’ll always respect that and work towards a common goal.”


On getting back experience at tighthead

“It’s really good for us. Unfortunately, the numbers three and four don’t get a shot like they did against Scarlets.

“It’s really good to get a guy like WP back so he can put himself into international selection contention again, and Javan will be champing at the bit to get an opportunity on Friday night to put his hand up for selection.


On Harry Paterson’s impressive debut for Scotland

“No, I wasn’t surprised at all, because when I came in earlier in the year he was injured and had been out for quite some time, and the first day when he got on the training field he looked like he hadn’t missed a day.

“He’s been impressive in his performances for Edinburgh. I didn’t expect any less of him with the opportunity he got on Saturday, and we’re just really proud that he got that opportunity first of all through good performances for the club.

“He can be very proud of his debut performance.”


On his availability for Zebre Parma

“Yes, very much so. Harry will be in contention to start – it’s just whether we select him on the wing or at full-back.”


On keeping Harry’s ‘feet on the ground’

“It just happened so quickly for Harry. What’s great about him is it will give him a lot of confidence knowing that he’s got his first cap under the belt, and from there he can just go from strength to strength.

“We all know he’s got loads of potential, and the more he plays at that level, the better he’s going to get.

“I don’t think he is a player that’s going to get big-headed. He’s only had one Test cap and he’s only played a handful of games for Edinburgh this season.

“He knows where he is as a rugby player and he knows there are improvements to make. He is a humble boy.”


On Jamie Ritchie returning and international selection

“At times Jamie has lost out on selection due to injury or strategy selections. This time I think it was on form.

“It’s a great opportunity for Jamie now to put his hand up – fortunately for him he’s got that opportunity on Friday night and show what he’s worth.

“He has put in some good performances for Edinburgh throughout the season, but sometimes it happens that you have a dip.

“It’s about how you get up. He’s certainly got that character – he’s a fighter, he’s a warrior, and he’ll be back and fighting for contention again.”


On Hamish Watson

“Hamish’s performance against Scarlets was world-class and he scored a great try from 10 metres out with good power and explosiveness.

“We’re fortunate at the club that we’ve got guys that fight and want to put their hand up for selection and don’t give up on opportunities at national level.

“So it stands us in good stead against a team that can be dangerous at home on Friday night.”


On the club’s locks

“There is no Grant Gilchrist this weekend, Sam Skinner has been retained by Scotland, and unfortunately Jamie Hodgson is still not available with the stress fracture that he picked up against Clermont.

“But we’ve got Marshall Sykes, and we do have Glen Young back. And we have utility loose forwards that can stand in at lock should they be called on.”

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