United Rugby Championship: Mike Blair relishing Edinburgh’s South African challenge

Date published: March 26 2022 - David Skippers

Mike Blair has revealed that taking his Edinburgh team out of their comfort zone on their two-match tour to South Africa is an experience which excites him.

The Scottish capital outfit kick off their tour against the Sharks in Durban on Saturday before they head to Johannesburg where they will go head-to-head against the Lions on April 2.

Looking forward to the challenge

The Edinburgh head coach is relishing the prospect of taking on the South African sides on their own turf.

“We’ve really relished our time in South Africa so far and the squad are all buying into what we’re trying to achieve,” said Blair.

“It’s hot, conditions are tricky and we’re out of our comfort zones but that’s what makes this challenge so exciting. It’s really galvanised the playing group.

“We’re here to do something special. No travelling team has won in South Africa in the URC so far this season and we want to do everything we can to change that.

“But, in saying that, we’re under no illusion about the task ahead as Sharks are a quality side, with a number of Springboks in their ranks.

“After a long flight and recovery to start the week, we’ve trained excellently and an intensity has been building ahead of (Saturday) night’s clash.

“We’re really proud to represent the city and club on South African soil and the guys are excited for what is going to be a massive test.”

Edinburgh have been boosted by the return of seven Scotland internationals, who return to club action after the completion of the Six Nations.

Skipper Mark Bennett, James Lang, Blair Kinghorn, Ben Vellacott, Jamie Hodgson, Magnus Bradbury and Hamish Watson have all been named in Edinburgh’s starting line-up for their clash against the Sharks.

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