EDINBURGH youngster Hamish Watson reckons the club’s pre-season warm-up clashes with English opposition were the perfect preparation for their opening Guinness Pro12 fixture against Munster.
The Murrayfield side took on Leicester and Newcastle as they shaped up for the new campaign.
And Scotland Under-20 prop Watson said ahead of Friday’s trip to Thomond Park: “The warm-up matches were a pretty good chance to put a marker down and show who should be selected.
“It’s been a long pre-season so I’m keen to get going. Our new strength and conditioning coach Johan Pretorious has put us through our paces and we’re all in a better place for it.
“There’s a really positive mood in camp and Munster away will be a good test. I’ve never played at Thomond Park before so I’m really looking forward to it.”
Meanwhile, despite stiff competition, the starting scrum half spot has been secured by Stirling-born 23-year-old Sean Kennedy.
He said: “I’ve been training away hard all summer with Grayson (Hart), Sammy (Hidalgo-Clyne) and the two young boys, Alex Glashan and Hugh Fraser.
“I wouldn’t say I was first choice but maybe the coaches saw I could bring something to this game.
“Having that competition brings out the best in all of us which is a good thing for everyone.”
With 14 first-team appearances to his name, Kennedy has faced the Irishmen before, playing against Munster at the start of last season when Greig Laidlaw was out injured, and is under no illusions of the task in hand.
He said: “I expect them to be massively physical, hard at the breakdown and strong up front - a typical Munster team.
“They’ve got a new coaching staff this year, so maybe their style will have changed slightly.”
What will not have changed for Kennedy, however, are his memories of the venue and the city.
He said: “I grew up in Limerick for the first 10 years of my life, supported Munster and rugby was everything - so I have plenty of family and friends coming to support the game tomorrow!”