Quick Hits: Pyrgos excited for 'homecoming' season

Quick Hits: Pyrgos excited for 'homecoming' season

Get the Quick Hits from Henry Pyrgos as the scrum-half spoke with media in the build-up to Saturday's Scottish Building Society pre-season series match against Newcastle Falcons, the first game to be played at the club's new home.

On pre-season and the club's Open Day

“Yeah, it’s been really good actually. They’re all different. I’ve done a few now.

“I’ve really enjoyed it. It’s been great to be back. Some new guys have come in and freshened the place up, which is all good. It was a really enjoyable session on Saturday in front of a crowd at the new stadium - it was a really cool day.”

On working with Head Coach Mike Blair

“I’ve obviously worked a little bit with Mike before, so it’s not completely new. I suppose he’s a new, different coach and he sees the game slightly differently.

"Especially in my position of half-back, he challenges us with our game management. He’s looking at different things, he wants to play a different style, so for us it’s probably just adapting to what he wants.

“We review the game slightly differently. And it’s always changing - it’s only been a few weeks so far really that it’s been going. In the early part of the season we’ll be learning quite a lot as we go.

"Obviously Mike was a brilliant player and he’s a great coach to work with. It’s nice to have someone here who’s played in your position.

"He understands, and he can definitely give me a lot of help with my game. When I was with him at Glasgow, and with Scotland briefly, he’s always given me invaluable information, so I’m sure I’ll get more of that.

“Now he’s doing it more globally as the head coach, so he’s not just focusing on the 9s, he’s got a lot of stuff on his plate. But it’s great to have someone like that to give you insight into how he sees the game, which has been really good.”

On the impact of Mike Blair

“Mike’s obviously moved on from playing, doing a great job as a coach. It’s nice to know him reasonably well, but obviously we know where the line is, he’s the boss. And he’s got some great insights into the game - he sees it in a really interesting way.

“I suppose like any coach, like every coach I’ve worked with, they coach in completely different styles. That’s just how it is: new coaches come in. He wants a lot of variation in our game. He wants us to take space where it’s given, whether that’s run, kick, and all over the pitch. He’s challenging us in different ways.

"He is challenging us. If you saw us play last year you would see it was very pragmatic. Mike still wants that, he wants us to make good decisions because you don't want to give teams easy opportunities to enter your 22, but he is challenging us as decision-makers and a backs group.

"If the space is there to put in an attacking kick or play into an area or run out of our half. He is always challenging us like that."

On players driving a new style of game

"When I was at Glasgow, or wherever I have been when coaches have changed, there is always good stuff that has been done before.

"Your coach doesn't just come in and everything changes. Players are massive part of the organisation and a lot of them have been here a long time so there's a lot of stuff that we do well that's important. Ultimately, it is everyone as a collective working together to drive the club forward.

"Players who have been here obviously want to keep some stuff that they feel has been productive for the club. Coaches and players come in with new ideas to challenge us in different ways. It is always an amalgamation of that and you're trying to grow year upon year and get better."

On the club's new home

"It's great. We've been lucky enough to train on it for the past few months. It's fast. It's very similar to Glasgow. They're all slightly different but I think it was put in by the same company so they feel pretty similar.

"It's really consistent, which is what you get with these pitches. Every time you step on it it is the same, which is great.

"It will be great for the club moving forward. We only had a few fans in on Saturday for the training session but it was a really good atmosphere.

"Hopefully as we start to pack it out it will create a great atmosphere for the players on the pitch and help to drive the club forward. I saw that at Glasgow, with moving to Scotstoun and starting to fill it out it was a much better atmosphere.

"It is really exciting for Edinburgh. There is so much growth here. We have great fans and it is great for them to have a home where they can get behind the team."

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