Press Pass: Lawrie on Castres challenge
Get the latest from Forwards Coach Stevie Lawrie as he spoke with media in the build up to Sunday's Heineken Champions Cup match against Castres Olympique at Stade Pierre Fabre.
Press Pass is brought to you by Glen Moray, the club’s Official Single Malt Whisky Partner. Never rushed or forced, always in balance, steady and with care, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Find out more about Glen Moray today.
On Hamish Watson’s return to training
“He’s towards the latter stages of his return to play. He’s a British & Irish Lion, so when he comes out there’s a certain amount of energy there already.
“Also experience, so the boys are drawing on that. He’s just having wee words with different players. Yeah, it’s exciting.
“It’s a case of if at any point if you don’t pass one of the markers, then you drop back.
“It’s a gradual return-to-play process, and he’ll just need to keep ticking off the different elements right the way from low-level activity, which he’s been doing, right the way up to full contact and getting through a few weeks of training.
“Like all these things, we want to make sure that he’s right. He’s on a gradual return to play, and when he’s ready and the physios feel he’s ready, then he’ll be put out there.”
On Adam McBurney and Tom Cruse
“Adam is probably a couple of weeks off. He had a little bit of tonsillitis last week, which put him back a week in terms of his prep.
“Tom is still with us just now. He’s contracted right up to the end of the Sharks game.”
On facing Castres
“They’re home this weekend then away the following weekend, so I’m expecting them to be very strong. They played Stade at the weekend and lost away from home. I believe they’ll want to get a home victory.
“Despite them not having any points in the comp, I do believe they’ll want to use this as a springboard to make sure that when they’re back at home in the Top 14, they’re on point. We expect the full noise.”
On qualification chances
“This is an opportunity to qualify for the knockout stages of Europe, and then that puts a bit of a different complexion on where our season is probably perceived at the moment.
“So for us it’s really exciting to go to Castres. We know how big a challenge that is. We like going to France, we like playing there, so let’s be positive about our prospects out there.”
On Edinburgh’s history in Europe and playing in France
“I think when you do a preview on a French team you know exactly what you’re going to get. So there’s no grey areas.
“You’re going to have to be physical, you’re going to have to make sure your set piece goes [well], you’re going to have to make sure you’re in the fight for 80 minutes.
“I think it’s always an exciting challenge when you show big French packs and you say to your own pack, ‘Right, this is what we need from you.”
On the Zebre win providing confidence
“We’ve had an honest look at the game and recognised that there could have been elements of our game that would have put us in a better position than winning it in the last play of the game.
“So we’ve been very honest about that. However, we have drawn on the fact that there were multiple changes and the character of those that got their opportunity got all five points. And as we know, sometimes it’s about getting over the line.
“I was just reflecting on last season versus this season. We’ve been within seven points in a lot of the losses, but we’ve been on the wrong side of the result. We need to be on the right side of the result, and against Zebre we were. Sometimes you’ve got to win games ugly.”
On internationals returning to training
“They are all available for selection.”