PREVIEW | Bradbury: "We have to do ourselves proud."

You can perhaps forgive Edinburgh back-row and part-time student Magnus Bradbury for letting his mind drift to the upcoming Heineken Champions Cup clashes with French giants Montpellier and Toulon whilst sitting in lectures recently.

This Saturday Edinburgh will be in Montpellier for the pool five opener when Bradbury, 23, could be up against star names such as Fulgence Ouedraogo and Louis Picamoles in the back-row battle.

Seven days later Toulon come calling at BT Murrayfield on what should be an amazing day when the Oban product could be up against the likes of All Black Liam Messam.

In the last couple of months Bradbury has started a part-time business management degree alongside team mate Blair Kinghorn at Napier University.

The duo are enjoying the challenge away from rugby, but for now Bradbury, who has four Scotland cap, has been doing his homework based on the on field matter ahead of two massive matches.

“Montpellier this weekend will present a physical challenge, but we can be a physical team when we want to be too,” he said this week.

“It is about fronting up for 80 minutes rather than having lapses in concentration that lets other teams back into the game.

“We know how they can punish us if we switch off. We know as a team how they are held in high regard throughout Europe and we just have to go out there and give it everything we have got, really empty the tank.

“It is a great chance for us to measure ourselves against them and see where it takes us. It is amazing to be in the Champions Cup and this Edinburgh team still has room to grow.

“We will be attacking this pool stage one game at a time and individually taking our own game out onto the field and trying to cause teams issues.”

And what about facing two time France World Cup player Louis Picamoles, the 32-year-old with 69 caps for his country?

“I have watched him play for Montpellier and France, so going up against him, if it happens, will be a good challenge,” Bradbury stated.

This is as big a test as we’ll get outside of Test rugby as players so we have to go there and do ourselves proud.

It will be a great occasion, they are a big team and it is a difficult place to go, but it is an exciting proposition. I’m really looking forward to it.

“The Champions Cup is where we want to be, but now the next step is to beat these big teams in this tournament and take another step forward.

“Nothing changes for us in our training week - it is about consistency of effort and consistency of what we put out on the field.

“You take one game at a time, play as well as you can each week and then we have every chance of getting through the pool.

“We’ve always known as a squad where we want to take this team and Cockers has come in with a clearer vision of how we get there.

You look at the squad, there is a wealth of experience in every position, while us young guys now have quite a few games under our belt and it is now it is about drawing on that experience and seeing where it can take us.”

In recent weeks Bradbury’s back-row mate ‘Big Bill’ Mata has been on fire, what is the Fijian offloading machine like to play alongside?

Bradbury smiles and says:  “He’s great, what a player.

“He’s good at getting the team ‘go forward’, he always gets over the gain-line in the 20-odd carries he has each match and he’s also a good offloader as well.

“The scary thing is how quickly he can move for a big guy - he is great to play with.”