Scotland forward Magnus Bradbury admits that just getting a starting jersey in the Edinburgh back row right now is a formidable challenge.
With former national captain John Barclay now fit and raring to go, those three slots are as competitive as you are likely to find in European rugby. “You could say that,” said Bradbury as he looked ahead to tomorrow’s crucial Guinness Pro14 clash away at Scarlets,
“It’s a hugely competitive moment with Barcs coming back from fitness and Jamie [Ritchie] and the rest of the guys.
“It’s exciting. Each guy is pushing the other to be the best that he can be.
“So we’re under a lot of pressure at the moment to be the best we can be as to who is going to get these starting jerseys at the start of each week. It’s a good place for the team.”
Those “other guys” include the likes of Hamish Watson and Bill Mata and Bradbury anticipates whatever three get the nod it will be a vital battleground at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli tomorrow as Edinburgh push for the play-off spots.
“Most teams seem to have good back rows these days,” said the 23-year-old. “It’s always a challenge to put yourself against the opposite man and these are the crucial battles that could bring the edge to winning the game. So if I get the edge on my opposite man that could be the edge that brings the team to the win.”
Bradbury is fully aware that Edinburgh can only afford to deal in wins if they are to reach the knockout stages for a second year running.
“It’s three good teams we’re playing. Scarlets away, Ulster home, Glasgow away,” he said. “We’ll take each one individually, come in each week, review and preview and just go in all guns firing,”
Bradbury missed the start of the year with a shoulder injury but roared back for Scotland during the Six Nations and is fresh for the end-of-season fight.
“I had a sabbatical yes,” he said with a laugh. “It was good for me. It was time to look at what I want to achieve for the rest of the season. Now it’s back with Edinburgh and getting those play-offs.”