Dominguez: Nothing for Edinburgh to lose in Dublin

Joaquin Dominguez. Picture: SNS/SRU

Joaquin Dominguez. Picture: SNS/SRU

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Joaquin Dominguez insists injury-hit Edinburgh Rugby have nothing to lose going in against Guinness Pro12 champions Leinster in Dublin tonight.

Edinburgh have 18 players unavailable through injury, plus two more rested for next week’s international duty.

Powerhouse Argentinian centre Dominguez, 6ft 3in and 16st, said: “Rugby gives great opportunities sometimes and this is one of them.

“It is a big opportunity for young guys to prove what they can do under pressure as well as the whole squad.

“Of course we want to win and we have nothing to lose. We can use that.”

Debuting for Edinburgh will be Heriot’s second row Jack Turley and Magnus Bradbury, who has been starring in the back row for Boroughmuir.

Drawing on his own experience of starting out, Dominguez says: “The message is ‘do the simple things right’ and don’t over-think it.”

The former Pumas age-group cap admitted that with his countrymen about to begin a northern hemisphere tour, a chance exists for him to send a reminder that he is on the spot should any vacancy crop up in the Test squad.

“I always think about playing for my country but most of all it is about Edinburgh for me at the moment,” he said.

“We have won our last three games and we need to keep thinking in a winning frame of mind. It’s a tiny line between winning and losing.

“We must do the simple things right and as always we need to keep humble but have a big attitude.

“If we do that and get the simple things right then results follow.”

Easily the biggest talking point in coach Alan Solomons’ selection is the inclusion of ex-New Zealand schools cap Turley, who admits he thought he was the victim of a hoax when called up for a pro outing.

“I thought it was one of my friends pulling my leg,” said Turley, whose phone quickly became red-hot. “So many congratulatory calls were coming in, including from back home. I had to put my phone on silent just to get a bit of sleep!”

Originally from Auckland, Turley moved to Christchurch around the time earthquakes wreaked havoc in the city in 2010.

“My girlfriend, Amy, and I wanted to get away for a while and I was able to get an ancestry visa for five years through my grandparents.”

It was fortunate for Turley that Edinburgh coach Solomons happened to take in Heriot’s win at Gala last weekend.

Says Solomons, whose five first-choice second rows have had to be ruled out: “Jack played pretty well and when he turned out for our A team (against Ontario) on Monday I noticed he is certainly a good footballer. Jack had two or three beautiful runs, showing good footwork.

“It’s important to stress there are no expectations on Jack or the other young guys. The biggest test will be coping with the physical levels of the game.”

While Turley will return to the club scene, a pro future is mapped out for his fellow debutant Magnus Bradbury, who, aged 19, is six years younger.

“Magnus hasn’t played any senior rugby but is a really good prospect,” said Solomons, adding: “It is an opportunity for youngsters to gain experience against a good team away from home.”

Indeed, but results are paramount in the world of professional sport.

So, does Solomons believe Edinburgh can pull off a first win in Dublin since 2005 when the hosts played at Donnybrook?

Choosing his words carefully, the former Springbok assistant, said: “We’ve got to perform the best we can and the rest takes care of itself.

“It is really tough (but) we need to look at things in a positive light instead of saying ‘woe is me’!”