'Serious and fun' - Henry Immelman reveals the two sides to Edinburgh head coach Milke Blair

Edinburgh full-back Henry Immelman has insisted that the capital club will not take Benetton lightly when they travel to Treviso on league business at the weekend, even though they crushed the Italians at home last month.

Henry Immelman during an Edinburgh training session at the DAM Health Stadium. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Henry Immelman during an Edinburgh training session at the DAM Health Stadium. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

The South African full-back missed Edinburgh’s last match, the away win against Cardiff, because of injury. But, with Emiliano Boffelli, Darcy Graham and Duhan van der Merwe all due a rest after their exertions in the Autumn Nations Series, Immelman should be back in the matchday 23 for the game at the Stadio Monigo.

It will be the third meeting between the teams since the summer, Benetton having narrowly won a pre-season friendly on their own ground. Not only that result, but also the Italian team’s fighting spirit, have convinced Immelman that they are opponents to be respected.

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“We know how good Benetton can be,” he said. “We’ve got to be prepared to take them on physically, because they’re passionate about their rugby and their physicality. So that’s going to be the main battle for us at the weekend.

“It is difficult to play a team so often, because you feel like they know all the tricks that you can throw at them. But we also know the brand of rugby that they play. So we’ll just have to work hard on the field and back ourselves.”

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The increasing strength in depth of the Edinburgh squad may mean that more players are frustrated to miss out on selection when they know they can do a job for the team, but Immelman believes that head coach Mike Blair has the knack of making sure that everyone enjoys being around the squad - even when they do not get picked for matches.

“Mike is really strict on the field, but off the field he feels like a player as well,” he continued. “He’s a really good coach, but off the field he really brings the fun part of rugby out as well. All the boys appreciate that. We like it.

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“Obviously training days are hard, but also the main part is to enjoy it. And with Mike, it’s serious and fun at the same time.”



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