Press Pass with Richard Cockerill

Press Pass with Richard Cockerill

Get the latest from Head Coach Richard Cockerill as he spoke with press in the build-up to Friday night's 1872 Cup decider against Glasgow Warriors at Scotstoun.

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On team news ahead of Friday night's derby

“Everybody that is fit and available, we will pick our strongest team out of that. Stu (McInally) is training fully and available for selection.

"There's some guys who had some good games, some of the younger guys stood up really well. Unfortunately Matt Currie is not available for selection, he got injured playing an internal trial game for the 20s last Thursday.

"He's got a shoulder injury, which is a shame, because it would have been good to see him play again. But the rest of the young guys who stood up will be in and around the 23, the 15, for the next couple of games."

On the 1872 Cup decider and importance of the derbies

“The 1872 Cup is decided this Friday and the following week's derby matters as well.

“Obviously there is a bit of silverware up for grabs on Friday which both teams are pretty keen to win. But for us it will be about getting the balance of selection and using it as an opportunity for some guys to get more experience in big games.

On the importance of Friday night's derby

“For me, the rest of this season is more about preparing for next year. This season has been tough for all sorts of reasons, and the 1872 Cup is important in the city but I don’t think it will rescue the season for either team.

“I’m more looking forward to next year and giving guys some opportunities, and notwithstanding that giving our guys a really good opportunity to win both the derby games.

‘Winning is a good habit to have and one that we’ve not really had this season. When you look at the bare facts, we haven’t deserved to be any further up the table.

On the importance of having Edinburgh players selected for Lions duty

“It's always important, important for the individual because Lions yours don't come round that often in guys' careers.

"If you get a couple of Lions tours and you are good enough to get picked, that's a brilliant achievement. Potentially for Hamish Watson for example, this may be his only opportunity to be in a Lions tour.

"He would have been close last time and after his Six Nations, you like to think he has put himself in a good position for selection. But also, playing with the world's best players and playing against the world champions, to bring that experience and know-how back to your team, would always be very welcome.

"Every time that happens you become more rounded as a player, whether it be club or Test level, the bigger the games you play, or the games with more consequence, it gives you that experience to use in the future.

"The more you do it, the more comfortable you become in it, and hopefully you can get success when you play in those games rather than it be a one-off."

On Rory Sutherland's return to fitness

“Rory’s rehab is going well. He’s out on the field doing lots of running and whatever he can at the gym to rehab that shoulder.

“Exact timescales can’t be given, but if selected it will be tight.

“He’s working hard and is very optimistic around him being fit sooner rather than later.

“We’ll have to see. Those discussions will be had with our medial team and if they are being shared with the Lions selectors then I don’t know that.

On Duhan van der Merwe's Lions chances

“The timimg for him couldn’t have been better – qualifying to play for Scotland, scoring lots of tries and making lots of metres – he is very quick and very powerful – and there has been some injuries in and around that wing spot with Jonny May being potentially out and George North.

“So, it wouldn’t surprise me if Duhan was well in the mix to get picked. Then there is Suz [Sutherland] who has put himself in the frame, Jamie Ritchie wouldn’t be out of consideration and Hamish Watson had a very good tournament, so you would like to think that some of those guys are in the mix.

“But, look, to pick 36 out of all those players, you could easily have none – so it’ll be a nervous half an hour for some guys on Thursday.”

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