Revitalised Magnus Bradbury explains why he is flourishing under the new regime at Edinburgh Rugby
His performances in December have earned him the club’s Scottish Building Society Player of the Month award but his form throughout the season has rarely dipped.
Recognition came in the form of a recall to the Scotland squad ahead of the autumn Tests and although he wasn’t used on this occasion it was a significant moment for a player last capped in March 2020.
Bradbury returned from the international camp with things to work on and has since been a notable contributor to Edinburgh’s unbeaten run.
“I’m happy with the way I’m playing, but it’s credit to the coaching staff as well,” said the back-row forward. “The way things have changed has given boys like me more time with the ball in hand, and the way the game plan works, it’s a great place to play good attacking rugby.”
The appointment of Mike Blair in succession to Richard Cockerill has not only given Bradbury more scope to express himself but also allowed him to take more responsibility.
“Some of the stuff over the past couple of years has been quite one-dimensional: you’ve got a job written down and you do that job, and other people will do their jobs as well,” he added. “Whereas now it’s a chance for me and the other back rows with the system we’ve got to play more and to carry in positions where we haven’t carried in the past couple of years.
“There’s a big focus on making it our team and taking responsibility, so it’s given me a responsibility to look at my own game, look back at training and see what I’m doing well, what I’m not doing so well.
“The training stuff is good. I wasn’t against the way Cockers did things in the past couple of years - I enjoyed going in and working hard, and we still do that. But there is more of a focus on fun this year, and that makes training something that me and the other boys can look forward to.”
Edinburgh return to action in the United Rugby Championship at home to Cardiff on Saturday and despite their inactivity over the festive period Blair’s team remain second in the standings with two scheduled URC fixtures before the Six Nations.
Bradbury isn’t looking too far ahead but his involvement with the Scotland squad in the autumn provided a useful reminder of what is required to make the step up.
“I left that camp with clear things to work on and get better at. For me, it’s not about having ongoing conversations but having a goal and things I can work on. I then sit down with the coaches at Edinburgh and tell them these are the things I want to get better at. They’ve been really helpful too.
“There’s quite a lot of rugby still to be played [before the start of the Six Nations]. Competition is fierce at Edinburgh and with Scotland there are a lot of quality players too. I don’t like to look too far into the future. Hopefully it all works out.”