Edinburgh Rugby v Glasgow Warriors: A lot of the boys wanted to play at the DAM Health, says Darcy Graham
Darcy Graham has spent this week reacquainting himself with grass on the back pitches at Murrayfield as he prepares for Saturday’s Edinburgh-Glasgow showdown.
After a season spent burning up the astro at his club’s new home, it’s back to the international pitch for the 1872 Cup clash.
With a crowd of between 20,000 and 25,000 expected, the DAM Health Stadium was always going to be a little too bijou for this encounter.
Graham has mixed feelings about going back to the old ground. The Hawick flyer has relished the artificial surface at the new ground which has helped propel him to some superb try-scoring exploits this season.
He has also fed off the atmosphere, with the proximity of the crowd creating a din that was seldom heard when Edinburgh played their home games at Murrayfield. A burst of the Can-can can be heard every time Graham scores a try which has also helped lend games a certain joie de vivre.
“I think a lot of the boys wanted to play at the DAM Health because we’ve built a real fortress here,” said Graham, who has declared himself fit after five weeks out with a thigh muscle injury.
“With every game the atmosphere just gets better and better. Coming to the end of the season we are getting bigger games but it will be class, a good experience, to be in the big Murrayfield.
“We've not been in there for a long time now so you could say it takes that home advantage away especially because we love playing here [at the DAM Health] and this is our home now.
“I love playing on 3G because it is so fast, especially on a dry day when it is a really quick pitch. Glasgow are used to that as well.
“Last week and this week we're training on the grass pitch just to get used to it again, get the calves conditioned again. It is slightly heavier running on grass. But there's not that much of a difference because that Murrayfield pitch is so good. It's not like Mansfield Park!
“For the Glasgow game there will be so many people there it won’t be a huge difference. It is very different when you just get 4-5000 people in there but this one will have a great atmosphere. I urge people to get tickets and come along.”
Graham has not played for Edinburgh since the Challenge Cup win over Pau on April 14 and the winger feels he has benefited from the rest during a tough season in which he played in all five of Scotland’s Six Nations games.
“I'm feeling really good,” he said. “That wee break probably came at a good time off the back of a pretty tough Six Nations. It was tough going to South Africa [with Edinburgh] as well so it was good to get a break to finish the season strongly.”
Graham sustained the quad injury as he attempted a step in training.
“It was right at the end of the session as well. I felt it go and you know straight away because I've done my quads a couple of times now. They are not long injuries, they just need managed. As soon as the tenderness went away I was back running, which was pretty good.”
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