Richard Cockerill plays down Scotland v England factor ahead of Edinburgh v Newcastle

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. Picture: SNS
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. Picture: SNS
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Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill won’t be drawing on the Scotland v England factor in the build up to Friday’s crunch Heineken Champions Cup pool match against Newcastle Falcons at BT Murrayfield.

The former England hooker has enjoyed a bit of Anglo-Scottish banter since arriving in the capital last summer but insisted that proving a point against a Gallagher Premiership outfit won’t be a motivating element going into the pivotal double header, with a trip to Kingston Park following a week on Sunday.

“Not really. I think like anything you’ve got to get past the emotional part and just play good rugby. It’s not about beating the English,” said Cockerill.

“It’s not about being English and Scottish it’s about being a good team. So if we’ve got to motivate our boys by saying ‘hate the English’ it’s not what we’re about.

“We’re about being a good team and being good pros and making sure we get a good performance. There’s only so many times you can tap into the emotional bucket to drag it out of them.

“We just want to be good. I don’t care who we play against and what nationality they are, I’m not fussed. I hate anyone not playing for Edinburgh, it makes no difference to me whatever nationality they are.

“We’ll concentrate on being as good as we can be.”

Newcastle lie bottom of the English Premiership this season, despite winning three of their nine games so far, the last of which was a 16-14 away success at Northampton on Saturday.

The Falcons top the Champions Cup Pool 5 table, however, eight points ahead of second-placed Edinburgh on six.

The Tynesiders have beaten Toulon away and Montpellier at home, while Edinburgh took a losing bonus point from the latter and thumped the former at BT Murrayfield in their last European outing.

Cockerill is pleased to welcome back a swathe of internationals this Friday after a trying few weeks in the Pro14 with a weakened squad.

“It’s Christmas come early,” said the coach.ockers