Duncan Hodge hopes Edinburgh’s Scotland men come through unscathed ahead of Racing 92 clash

Duncan Hodge admits he’ll be praying Edinburgh’s Scotland contingent come through Friday’s match against France unscathed as the build-up begins for the eye-catching European tie against Racing 92.
Jaco van der Walt should be available for Edinburgh this weekend. Picture: Ross Parker/SNSJaco van der Walt should be available for Edinburgh this weekend. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS
Jaco van der Walt should be available for Edinburgh this weekend. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

The capital club will take on the French giants in Paris a week on Sunday in the last 16 of the Heineken Champions Cup.

There are nine Edinburgh players in Gregor Townsend’s match-day squad for the Six Nations clash at the Stade de France and Hodge said he would be watching the game with a little trepidation.

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“It’s always the same,” said the Edinburgh attack coach. “Part of you is watching Scotland as a nation and the other part is watching your players and just praying they don’t get injured. And that’ll be no different on Friday night.

“Ideally we want everyone available to play in a huge game on the Sunday after. The slight upside is that Scotland play on a Friday and the Racing game is on a Sunday so there’s a nine-day gap.

“So the Scotland guys can get Saturday, Sunday and potentially Monday to rest and recover and come in fresh on the Monday/Tuesday and ready to go.”

Darcy Graham, Duhan van der Merwe, Rory Sutherland, Grant Gilchrist, Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson are in the Scotland staring XV while David Cherry, Simon Berghan and Nick Haining are on the bench.

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They will all miss this Sunday’s Guinness Pro14 match against the Dragons in Cardiff but one Scotland player likely to be available to Edinburgh is Jaco van der Walt, who did not travel with the rest of the squad to France.

The match is a dead rubber in terms of league points but offers a chance for players to stake a claim for places for the Racing match.

Andrew Davidson has been ruled out with an injured sustained in the 34-15 defeat by Cardiff Blues on Monday and stand-off Charlie Savala is also struggling.

Hodge was impressed by Savala, the former rugby league players from Australia, who made his debut in Wales.

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“It was a big ask of Charlie. I think I’m right in saying he played his last 80 minutes of rugby at school two years ago. He’s a very good athlete. He’s still got a bit to learn, obviously, but I think it was pretty positive.”

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