EDINBURGH Rugby may now be tantalisingly close to a historic appearance in a European final, but their fans have been warned not to plan the trip to London just yet.
The capital side edged a dramatic European Challenge Cup quarter-final 23-18 against English Premier outfit London Irish at the Madejski Stadium in Reading on Sunday evening to book a home semi-final against Newport Gwent Dragons at BT Murrayfield on Friday 17 April.
They’re a good side, with a lot of excellent young playersStevie Scott
The winners of that match will progress to the final of the continent’s second-tier club competition against Exeter or Gloucester at the Stoop on Friday 1 May – the eve of the Champions Cup final at Twickenham.
The Dragons are two places below Edinburgh in the Guinness Pro12 and have lost on their last three league visits to Murrayfield, but Edinburgh assistant coach Stevie Scott is taking nothing for granted.
“We need to be wary of the Dragons,” said Scott. “They’re a good side, with a lot of excellent young players. Realistically they are out of the race for the Pro12 top six [which earns qualification to the elite European Champions Cup], so their sole focus for the rest of the season will be doing well in the Challenge Cup. We’ll have to be at our best.
“Yes there is an advantage being at home but it doesn’t guarantee you winning.”
Dragons coach Lyn Jones said the upcoming occasion at BT Murrayfield is “what we play the game for”.
“It will be a massive game at Murrayfield,” said Jones, whose team beat Cardiff 25-21 to reach the semis. “Edinburgh are a side that have grown through the season. They weren’t great at the start but have got better slowly.
“They have got lots of good players, not necessarily Scottish. You have to respect that Scotland’s not the biggest country in the world for developing players and they have to recruit from outside sometimes.”
SCOTSMAN TABLET AND MOBILE APPS