Ben Vellacott’s arrival won't change our style of play, says Edinburgh coach
Duncan Hodge has played down suggestions that Ben Vellacott’s arrival will mean a change of style for Edinburgh next season.
The dynamic scrum-half has agreed a deal to move from Wasps in the summer, prompting speculation that it would trigger a more attacking mindset at the capital club.
Edinburgh have long been labelled a forwards-orientated, safety-first side but Hodge, the club’s attack coach, refutes the charge and believes their imminent move to an artificial pitch at their new stadium will add zip to their game.
“It’s one of these things that seems to get labelled,” he said of their unwarranted reputation.
“I think I’m right in saying we scored the most tries in our league last year, so our attack wasn’t lacking then. It has been tough this year, missing certain players. I think at the minute we kick the ball the least in our league.
“We’re playing on our new fantastic pitch, it’s a great surface, we’ve been training on there. It will lend itself to someone like Ben, you would think. I’m sure he will be a great addition and he will definitely add something to the squad.
“He’s a livewire of a scrum-half, very good technically, very fit, so I think he’s a great signing.”
Vellacott’s arrival will take the number of scrum-halves in the first-team squad to four and Hodge admits that head coach Richard Cockerill could have a job on his hands keeping Henry Pyrgos, Nic Groom and Charlie Shiel happy.
“It’s not an easy thing to do,” admitted Hodge. “Players are players - they want to play, don’t they? Yet you can only have one playing and one on the bench every week, so it is tough.”
Edinburgh host Benetton on Sunday and the coaching staff are waiting to hear if Glasgow stand-off Adam Hastings’ recent red card will have a knock-on effect on the capital side.
Hastings’ recent return to the Scotland squad after injury saw Edinburgh No 10 Jaco van der Walt released back to his club from the international side. However, if Hastings is suspended, van der Walt may return to Gregor Townsend’s squad.
“Hopefully Jaco will be available for us. It’s a fallow week and he probably needs some rugby,” said Hodge.