PREVIEW | Graham: "We need to believe in ourselves."

For years Wales and British & Irish Lions winger Shane Williams was constantly asked about his size - or lack of it - and used to reply: “just remember, it's the size of the smile that counts”.

The five foot seven inch tall flyer also answered his critics by scoring tries by the barrowload at all levels - and now someone of a similar stature is starting to make his mark with Edinburgh Rugby.

Darcy Graham, the latest talent to come out of the Hawick factory, is now in his second season as a full-time pro.

And having had a taste of top level action and played brilliantly for the Scotland Sevens team last term he is now keen to push on.

A quad injury - he tore it twice - during pre-season held him back a few weeks, but he has started the last two Edinburgh matches against the Cheetahs and then Montpellier on the wing.

Ahead of Saturday's crucial second pool five match against Toulon at BT Murrayfield the 21-year-old said: “I want to prove a point that there is still room for these small boys in the game.

“You have to go out and play each game as it comes and just enjoy the experience. It is kind of difficult [going up against bigger players], technique comes into it a lot as these big boys run flat out and it is very hard to stop them, so you just get there and get your body in front of them.

“Sometimes I have heard people saying ‘oh he will be too small’ and ‘his defence will be weak’, but I just go out and try and do well. Defending has been the main thing I have been working on of late, trying to get more dominant in tackles, trying to get off the line quickly.

“I came into Edinburgh in my first year and I was 77 kilos and I am now 84 so it is fair bit of weight to put on in just over a year.

“When I did my quad it was good because I could get into the gym for two sessions a day and build up my strength, it was brutal for four or five weeks, but really worth it.

“It has helped me with carrying, getting over the gain line and breaking tackles. It has not slowed me down, I am feeling really sharp now.

“You can do as many ups and downs as you want on the back pitches, but real fitness only comes right back with games.”

Last Saturday Edinburgh picked up a losing bonus point in the 21-15 loss at Montpellier in the first ever Champions Cup outing for Graham and many others in the squad.

However, this group of players is not just content competing - they want to win against big sides.

“The performance in Montpellier brought a lot of belief into the squad, we have to believe now that we can compete at this level,” Graham stated.

“Going out there we didn’t know what to expect in terms of performance or scoreline, but we showed that we are a good team.

“We can go out there and perform and be in games, it is just little details that let us down like a wee dropped ball or not clearing out a ruck quickly enough and giving away turnovers.

“We were gutted, we came off the pitch knowing that we had let things slip by, we should have won that game.

“There was a game there for the taking, we are learning. We left it out there and could have, should have won.

“We just need to back ourselves I think. For the first 10-15 minutes in Montpellier it was a bit of an overwhelming experience and it took a while longer to settle the nerves that we would have liked.

“We need to start the Toulon game well and fire in straight away and believe in ourselves because we are good enough. We just switch off at times, but the level of performance needed is definitely in there, we will put a big team away at some point and it has to be sooner rather than later.

“We went to Montpellier to put them away, we weren’t there to keep the scoreboard down.

“It will be similar this week against Toulon’s big boys who are physical and big runners - it is the physical edge that the other teams might have over us that we need to get over and then take things to them.

“I watched [Toulon losing last week to Newcastle Falcons] it was a really close game. They are not used to losing at home and they will be hurting from that and coming to Edinburgh to prove something to their fans and to the rest of Europe so we will need to be at our best.”