Edinburgh scrum-half Sean up for three-way battle

Sean Kennedy has recovered well after an operation
Sean Kennedy has recovered well after an operation
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Having returned from a seven month injury lay-off and starred in Edinburgh Rugby’s cracking start to the Guinness PRO12 campaign, Sean Kennedy is keen to continue making up for lost time tomorrow night against Ulster.

The 24-year-old scrum-half suffered a shoulder injury in January meaning that he missed the knockout stages of the European Rugby Challenge Cup and the rest of the PRO12 in 2014/15.

“It was a shoulder problem that I had had for a wee while which we thought might just settle down, but after a match in January it got worse and when I went to see a specialist they said that it would be best to get an operation,” Kennedy explained.

“At the time it was obviously quite frustrating, but I wanted to get things right and I set myself target of being ready for the new season.

“I was able to join the boys up at the pre-season camp in St Andrews and it was really good being back amongst things again and getting to know the new faces.

“That trip was really good for all of us I think because we were able to set our goals for the early part of the season and we knew that the Rugby World Cup period was going to be key for us.”

Kennedy, the cousin of Grant Gilchrist, made his playing comeback off the bench in the pre-season win over Ulster at Goldenacre. Nathan Fowles, who joined the club from Sale Sharks during his fellow No.9’s spell on the sidelines, started the first league match at home to Leinster in early September. Kennedy came on in the second half of that Meggetland clash and has since started against Treviso and the Osreys.

The former Stirling County man said: “It was great to get a stat against Treviso over there, but it was a tough shift. I managed to play an hour and the heat over in Italy was pretty tough, but the fact that we managed to come home with a 27-24 shows the fighting spirit that we have.

“The Ospreys win [20-9] was also a case of toughing it out and the great thing so far is that although we have three wins from three in the bank we know that we can play a lot, lot better.

“We also still have the Scotland guys and injured players like Grant Gilchrist, Ben Toolis and Stuart McInally to come back into the mix so in the coming weeks and months competition for places is going to get even tougher.”

That competition can be seen throughout the team and when Sam Hidalgo-Clyne’s Rugby World Cup journey comes to an end then Kennedy and Fowles will have a real battle on their hands to start matches.

“Alan Solomons has been very good with myself and Nathan. He works us hard and wants us to be at the top of our own games so that when Sam is back in the mix he has a real headache as to who to pick at No.9,” Kennedy stated. “In professional sport you are always going to have to battle for game time, so I am used to it. Tomorrow’s match against Ulster is the first of 16 league and European matches we have in a row without a break until the end of January so the three of us will all have to play our part and help the club out.”

Going into the Ulster clash at BT Murrayfield tomorrow evening, Edinburgh are sitting second and Ulster fifth in the PRO12.

And while Kennedy knows a competitive fixture is a lot different to a friendly he feels August’s victory over the Belfast men has given his own team confidence.

“We expect their team to be along similar lines to that night and we are on a high after three wins so we really want to keep this good spell going,” he concluded.