IT HAS been a bit of a long goodbye for Tim Visser in the last few weeks as the countdown to his departure to Harlequins after six years at Edinburgh has ticked closer.
This afternoon the Netherlands-born Scotand winger will take to the BT Murrayfield pitch for his last Pro12 game in Edinburgh colours. Even this clash with Leinster may not be the end as the Capital club are determined to seal seventh place and entry to the European Champions Cup play-offs, starting with a trip to face their Challenge Cup final conquerors Gloucester at Kingsholm.
So there may be life in his Edinburgh career yet, but the 27-year-old is still anticipating an emotional occasion today.
“I have very good memories of this place, some of the victories we have had here have been remarkable and some of the defeats we have had have been remarkable too,” reflected the 18-times capped flier.
“It is good looking back on it and seeing that in the end I have come through it with a lot of friends and come out of it as a better player I think and that makes me positive.
“Edinburgh really helped to make my career. Andy Robinson signed me so I have a lot to thank him for and Rob Moffat had a lot of faith in me and played me at the start and I managed to repay him in tries and the likes, but that initial confidence in me is probably what brought me to where I am now.”
Coach Alan Solomons, whose contract extension for another 12 months was confirmed on Thursday, has made four changes to the team who started last weekend’s defeat against Dragons in Wales.
Tom Heathcote moves up from the bench at stand-off, to replace the injured Phil Burleigh, while the remainder of the changes are in the pack.
John Andress starts at tighthead, in place of WP Nel (knee injury) and Anton Bresler comes in at lock, in place of Fraser McKenzie who moves blindside in place of Stuart McInally, who picked up a shoulder injury in Wales.
To remain in contention for the elite tier of European club competition Edinburgh, realistically, are looking for a bonus-point win while results in a number of this weekend’s other matches – all kick off at 3pm – will prove critical.
Visser added: “It’ll be sad of course to leave a club like Edinburgh after six fantastic years here. I’ll miss the crowd, I’ll miss the city and like I say I think the squad we have at the minute is fantastic.
“The character is great and some of the guys are the best I’ve ever played rugby with, but conversely we are hoping to play another two games. It will be an end of era for me, but that is professional sport now and things move on.”
The winger may be set to leave, but Solomons is staying and Visser welcomed that news.
“It is great,” he said. “To lose Alan at this point would probably have been catastrophic. He has managed to get us to play rugby how he wants us tplay it and we have been successful over large periods of the season.
“To now get a new coach and get used to his playing style would not be good for the squad. It is good that the team have at least another year with Alan given the number of players he has brought in and the number of players he has put his confidence in.”