Nick Haining's new contract is an important piece of business for Edinburgh, says Steve Lawrie

Edinburgh have tied down Nick Haining on a new contract and assistant coach Steve Lawrie believes the flanker can be an important player for the club over the next couple of years.

Edinburgh's Nick Haining (centre) has signed a new contract with the club. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Edinburgh's Nick Haining (centre) has signed a new contract with the club. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Edinburgh's Nick Haining (centre) has signed a new contract with the club. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

The capital side’s first priority is to secure European rugby with a top-three finish in this season’s Pro14 Conference B.

They currently lag 11 points behind third-placed Scarlets but have two games in hand and play the Welsh side at Murrayfield on Saturday.

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Lawrie knows it’s a must-win game and expects Edinburgh to bounce back from last weekend’s home defeat by Munster.

“It’s almost double points, isn’t it? People always say that, but it’s an extremely important game and we need to take confidence into it,” Lawrie said.

“We know that we’re at home, we’ve done well against Scarlets previously when we’ve played Edinburgh Rugby’s way, so for us it’s a massively important game and it’s important that we have a week’s training that improves on Munster and make sure that we’re absolutely on point for this weekend. Because there’s no hiding from it, it’s a very important game for our aspirations for next season.”

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Haining will have a big role to play in the final five games of the Pro14 season and beyond and Lawrie thinks the Scotland international has taken his game to a new level since moving north of the border.

“He arrived from Bristol two seasons ago and he has impressed massively. We’ve seen him improve his game, and that’s been rewarded at national level,” said the coach.

“He’s a dynamic ball-carrier, he’s got good feet and he beats defenders that way, which is important given how organised defences are.

“He’s a good lineout forward. He gives us options across that back row.

“He’s also a very good club man as well - a guy that gets stuck in, cares about other people and is a real positive influence around the group.”

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Edinburgh’s team selection for the Scarlets game is still up in the air as they wait for a decision on Scotland’s Six Nations match with France. If the latter game doesn’t go ahead as planned on Sunday then some international players could be released back to the capital side.

A decision on the Paris game will be made on Wednesday night.

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