Edinburgh’s up-and-coming rugby star Tom Brown was gutted to miss out on last week’s RaboDirect Pro12 opener against Cardiff Blues and is raring to go should he be included in the squad for tomorrow’s encounter at Neath Swansea Ospreys.
Brown, pictured below, started both pre-season friendlies against Sale Sharks and Newcastle Falcons in the full-back position and was all set to keep the No. 15 jersey heading into the competitive action.
However, a dead leg sustained against the Falcons meant he was struggling to train properly ahead of last Friday’s Murrayfield loss to the side from the Welsh capital and he was not risked.
He has trained fully this week and is itching to be involved at the Liberty Stadium against the Ospreys, who won the Magners League in 2005, 2007 and 2010.
The 21-year-old former Edinburgh Accies and Currie player said: “It was really frustrating to miss out on last week’s match, but my leg just wasn’t right and it was felt that it was better not to risk it.
“Heading into that game the guys were buzzing after a great pre-season and I felt in good form personally. The game was disappointing as a result and Cardiff were fairly clinical, but this week we have been working really hard on the things that let us down.”
On the training pitches in the shadow of the national stadium over the last few days, head coach Michael Bradley has been working a lot with the players on imposing themselves more at the breakdown area, while they are being encouraged to stick to the systems given to them rather than letting the match get a bit loose.
And certainly in attack tomorrow evening, Edinburgh will need their systems to click into place if they are to have a chance against an Ospreys side who opened their season with an impressive 27-3 win over Leinster.
Brown said: “We have watched a video of last week’s Ospreys match and what struck us is the way they defend. They work hard as a unit and get up in your faces early, but we believe we have players who can cause them problems.
“There are a lot of new faces in the team this year, but that is exciting and we are all really enjoying playing and training together on a regular basis.”
Brown is just one of a number of the Scotland under-20s team of 2010 that over the last 12 months have permeated into the professional ranks. The likes of David Denton, Grant Gilchrist and Matt Scott from that squad are likely to be involved in Edinburgh’s 22 tomorrow, while Robert Harley is currently skippering Glasgow Warriors.
“It is good to see a bunch of us coming through together and I think it bodes well for the future and shows that the systems in place are working with the likes of David and Rob having already got to the fringes of the Scotland squad.
“It is good to have familiar faces around, but the whole Edinburgh squad is close and that will help us this term.”
Meanwhile, Ospreys’ scrum-half Rhys Webb is looking to keep up his good early season form. He was man of the match last week and said: “We want to be an exciting team to watch, we want to score plenty of tries. The boys are just itching to put on the jersey, the youngsters want to make their mark. We are missing a few boys at the World Cup and it’s a tough act to fill their jerseys, but the boys are buzzing, now we’ve got to take the momentum into the Edinburgh match.”