Edinburgh Rugby winger Damien Hoyland is the first to admit that the first half of this season did not go the way he wanted it to, but having started against Glasgow Warriors last week he is keen to kick on now.
When Hoyland returned from Scotland’s summer tour having earned his third and fourth international caps against Italy and Fiji many felt this would be the campaign when the 23-year-old would really flourish.
However, with Richard Cockerill bringing new wingers like Duhan van der Merwe, Jason Harries, Dougie Fife and Darcy Graham into the mix at Edinburgh, he has found starts harder to come by than he would have liked in recent months.
Head coach Cockerill did pick him to start the second 1872 Cup match at Scotstoun last Saturday though and, with him set to get the nod against the Southern Kings this Friday at Myreside in the Guinness PRO14, he is keen to show what he can do.
“It was a bit of a surprise to start against Glasgow, I was not really expecting it, I had not had much game time in the league before that,” Hoyland said.
“When I was told, I was delighted. I just wanted to get out and put my best foot forward.
“The head coach is always very up front with everyone. I have conversations with him regularly whether I am involved or not involved.
“There are a lot of good wingers here which is a positive thing for the club. For players like myself, it is good, it will keep pushing us, it will keep pushing everyone and will make me better for it.
“I feel a run of games is good for getting back into the swing of things, but when you are training at this standard – training has been really good and there is loads of competition – you are still benefitting.
“There is a lot more freedom [in the backline now]. We are told we can play from everywhere. It is great to have that freedom, it is just all about decision-making improving
“We are confident, we have players in that backline who will carve up and get the ball away in space and it does not matter who we are playing against, we have belief in the group that we can score tries.”
The Edinburgh squad to take on the winless South Africans will be named today.