EDINBURGH assistant coach Stevie Scott was tight-lipped yesterday about the future of record try-scoring winger Tim Visser.
The Dutch-born Scotland international is out of contract with the capital outfit at the end of the season and, although discussions have taken place with the SRU about the prospect of extending his stay in the capital, the governing body face competition from a number of clubs in England, France and the southern hemisphere.
“Tim, along with many other players, is coming to the end of his contract. I don’t want to comment on that at the moment. There are two sides to it. Tim has to make a decision as well. The process is on-going but there has been no decision yet,” said Scott.
Visser and the Edinburgh coaching team will aim to put this issue to one side this week so that they can focus instead on Friday night’s crunch match against Bordeaux-Begles at Murrayfield, when qualification into last eight of the European Challenge Cup will be up for grabs.
CONNECT WITH THE SCOTSMAN
• Subscribe to our daily newsletter (requires registration) and get the latest news, sport and business headlines delivered to your inbox every morning
Any sort of win for Edinburgh – or a draw with a four-try bonus point – will be enough to see them finish top of Pool Four but they will have to rely on results in other groups going their way if they are to secure a home quarter-final.
It has been a huge month for this young Edinburgh squad, and the mental and physical fatigue of playing so many important games back-to-back was perhaps evident in the way the team performed when losing to Lyon at the weekend.
Scott acknowledges that this result was a major disappointment to everyone involved, but says it is unlikely that head coach Alan Solomons will make sweeping changes to the side in an effort to freshen things up.
“The way we look at it is that we have another big game this week but then we have a break after that,” he said. “The boys will have three weeks before we play Ospreys, so we’re asking them for one more big effort. It is like a final for us. We need to get over that line and get the result.
“We flew back from France on Sunday, the boys were given Monday off, we’ll have a heavy training session on Tuesday, off again on Wednesday, a team run on Thursday, and we’ll go into Friday feeling fresh. And we’ll look at how we handle key personnel this week as well – maybe sit them out of training, bleed them in and out of the team runs, and just think about reducing the workload for the boys who have played quite a lot of rugby.”
Scott continued: “It has been a tough month for us. We had big back-to-back games against Glasgow, then a big game winning away in Connacht, then travelling to France to play Lyon. We had a team run the night before the match, at 8.30pm in a thunderstorm, so it was a tough week, but for this team to grow it needs to adapt to these types of challenges. That was a big lesson for us.”
Fortunately for Edinburgh, their performances in previous rounds of the Challenge Cup gave them the luxury of being able to have that slip-up in Lyon without their European dream being derailed.
“We were always going to need to win this next game [against Bordeaux],” Scott added. “Even if we had won last weekend, we would still have had to win our home game to get a home quarter-final so, with the way other results have gone, that is still the case,” he said.
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND IPHONE APPS