DAVID Denton admits that watching Edinburgh’s thumping defeat to the Ospreys last weekend on television was very tough – but he has backed his team-mates to come back fighting against the Scarlets at BT Murrayfield tomorrow night.
Denton, who was speaking yesterday at the launch of the new Scotland alternate kit which is predominately red, revealed that he and a number of other injured club colleagues such as Grant Gilchrist and Matt Scott gathered at his flat on Sunday to watch the Guinness Pro12 match full of optimism.
However, two hours later the group were nearly hiding behind the sofa after watching their capital team-mates lose 62-13 as the Welsh side ran riot.
That has left the back-row, who is still recovering from a hamstring injury and looks set to be back in November, itching to get back out on the pitch rather than being a cheerleader from the stands.
He said: “I have been trying to get back into a routine and have been desperate to get back fit for a long time and you always want to play, but on the other hand I had a really long season last year and this little break has maybe been good for me to work on a few things.
“However, after the weekend’s match in Wales – it is very hard to sit and watch that. I can say a few things to players to help them recover from such a performance, but that doesn’t make as much difference as being on the pitch and actually playing my part.
“We really have to learn from the Ospreys match as a squad and we had a good long chat with Alan Solomons and the other coaches today [Wednesday] and the guys are ready for Friday night.”
Although he, Matt Scott and Grant Gilchrist are all just 24, the trio are seen as key leaders within the Edinburgh dressing room. Second-row Gilchrist could be back for tomorrow’s match, though Denton and centre Scott will be sidelined for a few weeks yet.
Denton said: “I suppose it is strange at the age of 24 to be seen as a senior player, but it is true. We have quite a young squad, but within it there is a lot of experience.
“Having missed Grant and Mike [Coman, the club captain] for games already this season has hurt the team, while obviously myself and Matt have a lot more international experience and when Matt is on the pitch you really can see the go-forward that he gives our backline.
“However, Alan [Solomons] has spoken a lot about the depth that we are trying to create in the squad and I think it would be wrong for us to be judged on the Ospreys performance. We have to take heed of the result of course, but we must remember the huge steps we made during pre-season and then going toe-to-toe with two of the most physical sides in Europe in Leicester and Munster.”
Denton is adamant that the Ospreys debacle must not shape Edinburgh’s whole season. He does not want those who were involved to forget about it because he believes it will give them inner strength not to experience such lows again. Instead he wants it put to the back of the collective mind and memories of the Munster victory and the journey the group are on to be at the forefront of everything.
The road to recovery starts tomorrow evening against the Scarlets – the Welsh side travelling north having won one, drawn one and lost one in the Guinness Pro12 so far.
Denton was at BT Murrayfield yesterday – joined by Edinburgh team-mate Dougie Fife and Scotland Women’s internationalists Laura Steven and Emma Wassell – to launch Scotland’s new alternate kit.
Supporters got their first look at the Macron-produced kit at an event at the stadium last night. The strip is designed to pay homage to the 1980s and 90s, when the lion rampant flags festooned the terracing and stands at the famous rugby ground. Complete with gold piping and a roaring lion embossed prominently on the back of the shirt, the kit is finished by a traditional polo collar, picked out in navy, to match the blue flanks of the jersey.
Denton said: “I really like the new jersey and think it’s good that Macron and Scottish Rugby are coming up with new ideas, while keeping it traditional. The lion on the back is special, so hopefully we’ll see plenty in the stands at BT Murrayfield when we run out in the Autumn Tests in November.”
The new alternate kit will first be worn by the men’s international side on 15 November against New Zealand.