Edinburgh Rugby’s Tim Visser will enter the new season looking to be the RaboDirect PRO 12 League’s top try scorer for a fifth successive season – but admitted it is getting tougher all the time to maintain standards.
Making Visser’s latest success all the more remarkable was the fact he was absent for the first time on international duty while Edinburgh’s form overall was miserable.
However, the Dutch-born winger who qualified for Scotland on residency last summer has reasons to be optimistic in accepting the challenge of principal strike weapon once again.
“It’s getting harder,” says Visser of his try exploits, adding that: “Teams are looking to snuff me out.”
However, a heel problem has been treated and he was able to finish a domestic season that started with a hat-trick of tries against Munster – albeit in a losing cause – by coming off the Scotland bench to share in the concluding Castle Cup victory over Italy in South Africa.
“The tour was a little bit mixed and I had been struggling with injury for a while,” he said.
“I was part of the team that had a really poor first game (against Samoa) but after missing out against South Africa I did share in the final victory. Now I am looking forward to getting involved with Edinburgh because while pre-season training is all very necessary, I am very much a game player.”
Joining Visser at the launch of a deal which sees BT sponsoring Edinburgh and Glasgow teams for the next four years was Test hooker Ross Ford, who missed the summer tour.
Withdrawal was the final blow in a stop-start season for Ford due to various injuries but he is ready to make up for lost time.
“I would have loved to have gone on tour but I’ve had my first summer break from rugby for about seven or eight years,” he said.
Edinburgh have still to announce a new head coach but the experienced Ford insists the players are coping.
He said: “We are still at the conditioning phase, not too much on rugby, so the boys are not too worried.”
Continuing to take charge on an interim basis is ex-Scotland hooker Stevie Scott, and Ford said: “Stevie is always coming up with new ideas, particularly for line-out throwing practices, and he knows what it is like to play in my position.”