Back to add some steel

Neil Back intends to instil an uncompromising edge into Edinburgh Rugby this season. [more]

Back to add some steel

Neil Back intends to instil an uncompromising edge into Edinburgh Rugby this season.

The triple Lions tourist, who admitted in 2009 that he is keen to be involved with Britain and Ireland’s elite again one day, joined Edinburgh as forwards coach earlier this summer.

And despite being impressed with what he saw from Edinburgh on TV last term, the 43-year-old former flanker believes he can add the extra steel that can see them reproduce their impressive Heineken Cup form week in, week out in the PRO12.

“I watched Edinburgh’s progression in the Heineken Cup last year without knowing I was going to come here, and I was very impressed by their style of play, their fluidity and the quality of players in the squad,” Back told The Scotsman after the Murrayfield outfit reached the final four in Europe for the first time.

“But where we finished domestically was not good enough, and hopefully we can improve and be more consistent throughout the season.

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“You’ve got to stay the right side of the line and I would never advocate doing something against the laws, but within the laws it is a physical game and Edinburgh Rugby need to be tougher up-front and in the contact area. As a coaching team that is one of our main focuses this year.”

Scottish Rugby is currently on a high after Edinburgh’s heroic Heineken Cup run, Glasgow’s surge to the semi-finals of the PRO12 and the national team’s victorious summer Tests against Australia, Fiji and Samoa.

The strength in depth on the domestic and also the international scene appears to be getting ever stronger and Back is convinced the increased competition for places will bring success on both fronts.

“There are lots of issues and things to sort out, but we have a fantastic management team led by Michael (Bradley) and we’ve got some really talented players who I believe can not only perform well for Edinburgh and Scotland, but be world class,” added Back.

“Having to fight for their place at club level is going to push them that little bit further, and maybe they haven’t had that in the past.

“That should give us that bit of steel that we need to travel to tough places on the road and get the results we need.”

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