Edinburgh Rugby team guide, 2014/15 season

AN at-a-glance guide to how Edinburgh will shape up for the new season

Edinburgh Rugby head coach Alan Solomons. Picture: Jane Barlow

Coach: Alan Solomons.

Captain: TBA...Grant Gilchrist and Kiwi Mike Coman are probably the front runners.

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Key player: Back-row forward Cornell du Preez, right, has skill, workrate and attitude to spare so let’s hope a little of the latter rubs off on his fellow grunts.

Strength: The team now has some serious beef, with a pack that should go toe-to-toe with almost any in this league.

Weakness: What does this group of players stand for? What defines them? What do they believe in? Maybe this is the season they will enlighten us.

Two to watch: We have been fooled in the past, but another big South African in the formidable shape of Anton Bresler promises much in the Edinburgh second row. In the backs, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne’s speed around the breakdown makes him a danger man if he is given license to snipe.

It’s a big season for: The head coach, the players, the entire club, everyone, absolutely everyone. They can’t afford another flop.

Missing in action: If it wasn’t for bad luck....David Denton missed Scotland’s summer tour thanks to a head knock and he misses the first two to three months of this season with a pulled hamstring. Matt Scott is waiting on his shoulder to recover from surgery.

Too many cooks: Edinburgh boasts nine props (including apprentices). A lot of big lads will be looking for a game come Saturday afternoon.

Don’t mention: All those overseas imports. Instead, focus on some genuine, first-class homegrown talent.

Last season: Eighth place, with seven league wins.

Prediction: Fifth or sixth. Enough to qualify for the elite European Champions Cup, but outside of the Pro12 play-offs.

Up and coming: Jamie Farndale, Hidalgo-Clyne, George Turner and Hamish Watson, left, all made the step up from apprentice to full professional contracts over the summer. Former Gala prop Rory Sutherland is sure to make his muscular presence felt.