Edinburgh Rugby are just two days from what head coach Michael Bradley has described as the biggest match of the club’s season at Murrayfield this Friday (kick-off 8pm).
Two wins from three in Heineken Cup Pool 2 puts the capital club three points behind this weekend’s opponents, who leapfrogged Edinburgh into the Pool’s top spot in the match’s reverse fixture last Friday (25-8).
Now, with home advantage, the capital club have the chance to redress the Pool positions, with a win capable of restoring Edinburgh to the top spot with two matches remaining – Racing Metro away followed by London Irish at Murrayfield.
The last Heineken Cup game at Murrayfield saw a season high attendance roar on the capital club to secure a bonus-point win over Racing Metro (48-47), with Bradley relishing the prospect – and profile – of the big match.
He said: “It’s fantastic to be in this position in the group going into round 4, at home, in the Heineken Cup.
“This Friday will be a massive occasion for everyone involved in the club because victory could put us back in the driving seat of this Pool. It’s definitely our biggest match of the season so far. It will be a huge challenge. Cardiff have an excellent record against us and showed that they can put points on the board when given the narrowest of opportunities.
“At this level the margins are extremely tight, with one advantage on our side being our support on the night. Our supporters have been central to our success on a number of occasions, none more so than against Racing Metro, so hopefully they’ll be a crucial factor in deciding the result of the game once again.”
Bradley today named an extended 26-man squad for the crucial encounter which includes captain Greig Laidlaw who is set to make his 100th competitive appearance for the capital club.
Bradley added: “It’s a fantastic achievement for Greig [Laidlaw] who is an extremely committed individual. He’s an exceptional captain and leader and it’s tremendous that he is one of the many top-class players who will be staying at the club until 2014.”
Edinburgh Rugby squad to play Cardiff Blues in round four of the Heineken Cup at Murrayfield Stadium on Friday 16 December (kick-off 8pm)
Nick De Luca,
Greig Laidlaw CAPTAIN,
Not available through injury:
Ben Cairns (knee) Andrew Kelly (knee), Alan MacDonald (shoulder)