Gone are the days when Edinburgh were viewed as a one-dimensional team. Their pack has always packed a punch but now they can now boast a highly potent attacking back three.
Blair Kinghorn, 22, Darcy Graham, 22, and Duhan van der Merwe, 24, have impressive weapons in their armoury and, after finding some holes in the Glasgow defence last weekend at Scotstoun but not quite enough to win the match, they will be looking to drive Edinburgh to an 1872 Cup-levelling victory at BT Murrayfield on Saturday afternoon.
“I think our back three is one of the most dangerous out there. We back ourselves,” said full-back Kinghorn. “Darcy’s got great feet and can cut around people from nowhere, while Duhan, he’s very fast and disruptive. I’m very grateful to be able to play with them.
“Our back three is strong, We’ve got a lot of depth there now so there’s good competition for places. It’s great to see Duhan get his 50th [appearance] for the club. He’s only really played here two-and-a-half seasons because he was injured in his first season. To rack up that number of caps in that amount of time is outstanding. He’s been a great addition to the club.”
Van der Merwe, the physical and lightning quick wing who joined from Montpellier in 2017, becomes Scottish-qualified on the old three-year residency rule in the summer so the prospect of this becoming a Test back-three at some point is a distinct possibility.
“It could happen, but it’s a long way away,” said Kinghorn, whose ability to play wing has seen him accommodated in the Scotland team alongside first-choice full-back and potential Six Nations captain Stuart Hogg.
“I think Duhan’s definitely good enough to play internationally, he’s learning more and more about the game and his positional stuff is getting so much better, I feel comfortable playing with him in the backfield. When teams kick loose to him he’s disruptive. It’s great to see him charging back at them.”
Asked what his primary role in the trio is, Kinghorn smiled and said: “I just try and control those two!”
Kinghorn scored a fine late try at Scotstoun to take Edinburgh to the brink of victory but, in the end, Glasgow wrestled the lead back at the end as George Turner finished off a driving maul to give the Warriors a 20-16 win in the opening leg.
“It could have been but it didn’t turn out that way,” said Kinghorn, who stepped in impressively off the touchline to wrongfoot the Glasgow defence.
While Edinburgh may be developing into an attacking force, that has long been ingrained in the Glasgow DNA, as they showed with a brilliant combination between Adam Hastings, Huw Jones and scorer Ali Price for the last game’s first try. So Kinghorn remains wary of the threat they pose in the wide spaces of the international pitch.
“We know Glasgow can score out of nowhere and they did that for the first try, the chip and chase, was something out of nothing,” said the full-back.
“There were just a couple of times we lost our shape in the middle of the park. I thought our nines and tens kicked really well.
“But yes, I think it’s always a game of fine margins between these teams, no-one’s ever going to run away with it. We just came out of it on the wrong side on Saturday.”