David Denton is determined to turn around a frustrating season for himself and Edinburgh Rugby over the coming weeks and head into 2015 with a bang.
The No 8 has only been involved for his club in four matches so far this season, while, for Scotland, he has managed just eight minutes on the pitch since the Wales encounter back in March.
Following a summer off, a mishap playing touch rugby during pre-season with Edinburgh put him out from August until the end of October and he has also missed the last two club matches with a minor shoulder knock.
Edinburgh host Treviso on Friday night at BT Murrayfield in the Guinness Pro12 and Denton is eager to be involved in the squad ahead of the 1872 Cup matches with Glasgow Warriors on 27 December and 2 January.
In many ways, Denton’s season has mirrored that of his club, taking one step forward and then two back, but he is determined that things go in a positive direction from now on.
“People have to remember that, at one stage during this season at Edinburgh, we had something like 24 guys out injured. That has meant it has been hard to get consistency in selection and string a run of results together, but, generally, I think we are heading the right way,” he said.
“Our squad has been tested to the limits, but the guys who have come in during tough times have done well and that bodes well for the future.
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“At the moment, we are coming off the back of two good wins in Europe against London Welsh. I am working hard this week to do everything I can do to be involved against Treviso this Friday and then, of course, we have the two matches against Glasgow.
“They are our two biggest club games of the season and I am really looking forward to them. They are always hotly contested and there is always a bit of fire in the belly for them.”
Edinburgh currently sit eighth in the Guinness Pro12 table with three wins and a draw from their nine matches, but, with Treviso bottom of the pile, head coach Alan Solomons will want his side to be ruthless on Friday night.
Certainly to be at their ruthless best they could do with 24-year-old Denton on the pitch and he has cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines for large parts of the campaign so far.
He said: “I can’t tell you how annoying it has been in recent times and I am struggling to get any momentum at the moment because of the injuries, but it will come.
“Everyone has had to deal with a spell like this in their rugby career and, hopefully, this is the end of it for me.
“As a player there is nothing worse than watching while all the other guys are training and playing matches so I can really hit the ground running in 2015 and really build on things from there.
“I started one match for Edinburgh before that outing off the bench against New Zealand [in November] and it is fair to say that I need to get a lot more game time under my belt in the coming weeks.
“The current shoulder knock is just a niggle and it is not causing me too much concern, but it is just another bump in what seems to have been a long road over these last few months.”
Denton, who has 23 Scotland caps, was speaking yesterday as Scotland-Ireland tickets for the RBS Six Nations clash on 21 March went on sale.
Having played his part in the tournament during 2012, 2013 and 2014 for Scotland, he wants to involved again during February and March. However, he knows that he has to impress Vern Cotter and others in the next batch of Edinburgh matches to make that a reality.
Denton said: “The Six Nations in itself is a special tournament and I think all of the northern hemisphere sides showed glimpses of what they are capable of during November.
“In a World Cup year, the Six Nations takes on extra importance and I just want to make sure I am involved.
“Scotland had some good results and played some good stuff during November and we could – and perhaps should – have got a win against the All Blacks.
“What we have now is what we need to help Scotland continue to get better – competition in every position.
“It drives the standards of the whole squad up and it is something positive, not something to be feared.”
• Scotland’s RBS Six Nation campaign for 2015 starts away to France on 7 February while tickets for home matches are available via www.scottishrugby.org/tickets
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