Greig Laidlaw up for the Heineken cup challenge

Glasgow Warriors Captain Alastair Kellock, left, and Edinburgh Rugby Captain Greig Laidlaw during the Scottish Heineken Cup launch. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Glasgow Warriors Captain Alastair Kellock, left, and Edinburgh Rugby Captain Greig Laidlaw during the Scottish Heineken Cup launch. Picture: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
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Skipper Greig Laidlaw insists Edinburgh Rugby can turn the form book on its head and qualify for the knock-out stages of the Heineken European Cup for the second time in three years.

Edinburgh were due to get their campaign up and running against twice winners Munster at Murrayfield this afternoon.

Laidlaw said: “We believe we can come through. They’re all tough groups but we’re delighted to be at home first up. That will be massive. It (the opener) is coming at a good time.

“Everybody is bedded in. I’m back from injury and so are Matt Scott and Tim Visser. Edinburgh and Munster clashed at league level in Cork on the opening day of the season with the Irishmen winning 34-23.

“It helps that we know Munster pretty well from playing them in the league. We know their strengths and hope we can pick up on some of their weaknesses,” said Laidlaw.

Edinburgh’s poor league start – one win from five outings – has been in contrast to Glasgow, who have romped to the top of the Pro 12 League, but Laidlaw believes a determination to keep upsides with their only Scottish rivals can pull the Capital side through.

“Glasgow are hard to beat and that is what we need to become at Edinburgh,” he said. “It can be a tough one to take when it’s your rivals doing well, but first and foremost they are putting Scotland on the map.”

Laidlaw has also praised the honest approach of new coach Alan Solomons in refusing to build false hopes until he has had a chance to properly implement his ideas.

“Alan has come in with some good ideas and we need to take them on to the field,” he continued. “There are a lot of new players and it is about us getting up to speed as quickly as we can.

“Alan keeps talking about pre-season training in season. He is right in a way. We don’t want to pull the wool over anybody’s eyes. It does take time to bed these players in. Getting them up to speed has been tough.”

There are three newcomers to Edinburgh this season in the starting line-up today with another five on the bench.

While Laidlaw was making bullish remarks on Talksport radio, coach Solomons was being more circumspect at his final briefing before facing Munster when again the opportunity was taken to damp down any unrealistic expectations.

Asked if qualification from the group is an achievable goal, Solomons said: “We are in a very strong pool. You have to take it one game at a time. We can’t afford to look too far ahead. We have to focus on our performance and get a continuous improvement.

“We will get a clear indication of where we are after this match.”