Press Pass with Mike Blair

Press Pass with Mike Blair

Get the latest from Head Coach Mike Blair as he spoke to media ahead of Friday's United Rugby Championship Round 12 clash against Munster at Thomond Park.

On Edinburgh's title credentials

"This is going to be a really crucial period for us. I mentioned having a lot of those home games at the start. Now, with the rearranged fixtures, we have a lot of away games together. At the end it is a more of a mix.

"Just now is going to be a tough period with a few of our players away and us having away games against strong teams but this is brilliant for young players coming through. They can show what they can do and will be able to see what it takes to win at this level. This is excellent for their development while at the same time we are able to put a team out that can win these games.

"I was really disappointed and frustrated on Friday because that game was there for us to win. I know the scoreboard doesn't necessarily look like it but at 14-0 down we had a bit of a breeze in the second half and had ten minutes on their line at the start of the second half and we could have taken a few more of these opportunities. But, you know, we are in that period now when we are giving young guys opportunities and have young players coming through but still feel, even if we are missing players, we have a team capable of winning these games."

On Munster away

"It is a similar game to the Leinster game isn't it? Even if they lose a few a few players they are still strong and still a Munster team at Thomond Park. They will be extremely competitive. I think they will get a few players back as well. We are expecting a real battle out there. Part of the disappointment of the Leinster game was round our physicality. There is no better place than to go than to Thomond Park to see if we have learned the lessons from the week before."

On getting players released from Scotland

"Fingers crossed we do, we’re still waiting for a few guys, but we’re hopeful of getting a handful of players back. We’ll look to integrate them really quickly and it would be great to have them back involved with us in whatever capacity that would take.

"It’s really case by case - who Gregor believes needs some game time, who they probably couldn’t do without if they got injured. It’s not necessarily how many minutes they’ve played, but what’s required by Gregor. We’ll be pretty pleased to get a few players back, so fingers crossed.”

On Pierre Schoeman's performance against Wales

“Pierre has been excellent, not only on the pitch, but I think he’ll add a huge amount to the environment off the pitch as well. He’s a great guy to have around the club.

“When you come off you cool down a little bit. You know there’s a chance you could go back on, because you need that from a health and safety point of view to have scrummagers on the pitch, but to come back on cold and play that well was excellent.”

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