Hodge looks ahead to Benetton

Hodge looks ahead to Benetton

Hear from Attack Coach Duncan Hodge as he discusses Edinburgh's attacking stye, Scotland players being integrated into the squad and the return to form of Mark Bennett and Matt Scott.

On returning Scotland players

“It’s pretty much the same as last week, I think. That’s the thing, there’s no rush.

“It’s a difficult one, because all these guys go away, we’ve not seen them for four months, and there’s been changes. It takes a bit of time to integrate them back.

“We got lucky last week. Blair (Kinghorn) slotted in really well with very little training. Henry (Pyrgos) wasn’t as bad, because he was with us, then he was away. And Magnus (Bradbury) picked it up at late notice. But it is a hard thing sometimes, transitioning them back, and it will be a hard thing to manage over the next two weeks, just when they go in, how much training we give them, that sort of stuff.”

On Edinburgh’s attacking style of play

“It was always the plan - the foundations were put in place, and I think everyone knew we had to go to the next level to change a few things. We’ve done that - we’re still in the early stages of doing that.

“The foundations of what’s been good about Edinburgh over the last two years are still there - that’s not gone away, and the last thing we want is to erode that at all. As with every good team you’ve got to keep evolving - keep up with the times and try and get ahead of defences in my eyes.

“That’s where the World Cup was actually very good for us, in that we had a longer pre-season to try a few things out and bed some things in. It’s been good and we’re starting to see a bit of fruit to that. There will be bumps along the way, and I guarantee there will be times when it doesn’t work, but at the minute I think everyone’s fairly content and settled with what we’re doing and we’ll just keep going.”

On Bennett and Scott’s return to form

“I’ve coached Mark since he was about 17, I used to go through on a Monday night to the west to coach him. Same with Matt, I used to coach him out there on the Murrayfield back pitches when he was a young 10, about 17 years old, 12 years ago.

“I know these guys pretty well and know how frustrated they have been, and to be fair we have been as well. We have not seen the best of them over the last couple of years and it is nobody’s fault, just the way it has been.

“It is nice to see them back functioning and nice to see the guys behind them pushing them hard as well. They know it is competitive with JJ (James Johnstone), Chris Dean and George Taylor, another who has come in and done really well.

“There’s certainly been glimpses of Mark getting back to his best. He is doing some great things, scoring tries and some of his work off the ball and distribution and decision making. We have not seen that form consistently in the last two years since he got injured against England.

“We have not seen a months worth of rugby in a row from him in that time, it is not his fault, it’s just the way it’s been.”

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