Richard Cockerill calls on Edinburgh players to step up

New Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill has called on his players to show they are ready for the new Guinness Pro14 campaign by turning in an improved performance in Friday's pre-season friendly against Newcastle Falcons at the Greenyards (6pm).
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRUEdinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU

The capital side lost narrowly 24-20 to Sale Sharks last week and this evening’s match is Melrose is their final game before they kick off the competitive season at Cardiff Blues a week on Friday.

Cockerill has made five changes, two of them in the back three, where Blair Kinghorn and Dougie Fife start at full-back and wing respectively. Junior Rasolea comes in at centre, with Nathan Fowles at scrum-half. Magnus Bradbury starts at No 8.

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Cockerill said: “We learned a lot about ourselves in last week’s hit-out against Sale, and it was a good chance to get a feel for where we are as a group at the start of the season.

“As a group, we played with real intention and a lot of passion, and I was encouraged by the performances of some of our younger Academy players. We need to keep building, and this is a big chance to show that we’ve improved from last week. We need to keep developing as individuals and as a team, and showing people that we’re working hard to get better every day.”

“Newcastle will prove as a further test of this team, but we need to see players front-up and show that they’re ready to compete both mentally and physically. We need to go into our first league game in the best position possible, and a lot of that boils down to how we perform tomorrow night.”