Mike Blair’s team became the first from the northern hemisphere to win a URC game in South Africa when they beat the aptly named Sharks at a sodden Kings Park, with Blair Kinghorn particularly impressive at stand-off in the 21-5 win. The Sharks visit the Scottish capital on Saturday to take on an Edinburgh side shorn of some of their frontline international players who are being wrapped in cotton wool ahead of the Calcutta Cup. Ticket sales are brisk and the forecast is fair as the home team look to build on last week’s excellent home win over Saracens in the Champions Cup.
“It was definitely great to get the win and I think it is now just about taking a bit of momentum back into the league,” said James Lang, the Edinburgh centre who is confident they can compensate for the potential absence of players like Jamie Ritchie, WP Nel, Grant Gilchrist, Dave Cherry and Kinghorn. “I guess it can disrupt you if you let it. But I think we have such good strength in depth at the moment and everyone is pretty clued in with their roles and responsibilities amongst the squad.”
Lang played in Durban last season and while Edinburgh adapted well to the conditions he thinks their game is better suited to a dry track. “I'm not sure what the weather is saying this weekend but hopefully it is all right because we want to throw it about a bit. We know Sharks have the physicality in their pack but also the skill in the backs to really put on a show.”
While “a little bit disappointed” not to be included in Scotland’s Six Nations squad, Lang said he wasn’t surprised. “I’ve not been in a lot recently so I know how to deal with it,” he said. “I don't worry about that any more. I just want to enjoy my rugby with Edinburgh and the more I can enjoy myself and playing with these boys the better I'll play and whatever happens from then on is out of my control. There's a lot of strength in depth at centre and the boys are playing well.”