Edinburgh Rugby will seek to make history on Saturday by becoming the first Scottish team to win at RC Toulon and so strengthen their bid to qualify for the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup.
Consecutive victories over Newcastle Falcons last month lifted Richard Cockerill’s side four points clear of Montpellier at the head of Pool 5 and installed them as favourites to qualify from that group with two matches left.
But the former England hooker knows that his team will have to be at their best to triumph at the Stade Felix-Mayol, even though they thumped Toulon 40-14 at BT Murrayfield in Round 2.
“We have to go and play our game,” head coach Cockerill told the Edinburgh Rugby website. “They have some quality individuals who we know will cause us damage. They are a far better team at home and have improved hugely from the last time that we played them, so we have to make sure we play how we play.
“We have been physical and dominant in the last five games, but may not have the luxury of that against such a big physical team, so we have to be accurate and move them around the field, move their big pack around and take our opportunities when they come.
“We’d like to make a little bit of history on Saturday as the first Scottish team to win at the Stade Mayol. But we’re well aware that it will take a lot of hard work and drive to achieve a positive result.”
🗣️ "We've got to be really accurate, move their forward pack around the field and take our opportunities when they come."
— Edinburgh Rugby (@EdinburghRugby) January 9, 2019
A victory at Toulon would set Edinburgh up nicely for their final Pool 5 game against Montpellier at BT Murrayfield on Friday, January 18.
“I’d like us to go there [Toulon] and win, because then we’re playing for a home quarter-final when Montpellier come here and you look at that Montpellier side and your eyes water at what that would cost,” he said.
“It’s what you coach for and what you live for as a player as well. I said to the players ‘I’m not worried about going there, I’m excited’.
“Let’s go and enjoy it because, one, we’re good enough to win if we get it right and, two, we’ll learn something about ourselves. We’ll know what it feels like and looks like to perform in those arenas and against those types of teams.”