Edinburgh Rugby centre Chris Dean feels that the mindset of the team has changed for the better this season – and now they are ready to take their positive European form into the Guinness PRO14.
The 24-year-old came off the bench to score the all-important bonus point try in the 40-14 Heineken Champions Cup triumph against Toulon on Saturday.
The score came from great pressure from Edinburgh as the French side threw the ball about in their own ‘22’ late on.
And Dean, who eventually intercepted a floated pass to go over the line, believes the work ethic and desire to play for 80 minutes is really becoming a hallmark of Richard Cockerill’s side.
Ahead of the league trip to Italy to face Zebre on Friday evening, Dean said “There were guys on that park who had been on for a full 80 minutes and were still giving it absolutely everything for us to get that try and that is the way we want to play.
“We’ve worked very hard in to get our fitness levels up there and we work every week on fitness, never getting a week off unfortunately, but it is to our benefit – our strength and conditioners are pretty serious on that front and it’s working.
“We are a team now that is able to work for a full 80 minutes and everyone’s able to put 100 percent in for every minute that they’re on.
“It’s good and I think our mindset to get up there and put pressure on Toulon right on the line is something we’ve worked on over the last few weeks.
“In years gone by we’d have probably let them play to the width, make a tackle, play to the width, make a tackle and close it out, whereas actually we wanted that ball back and wanted to score that final try – that philosophy is a big shift.”