EDINBURGH will be without Argentinean World Cup semi-finalist Emiliano Boffelli until late December due to a foot injury he picked up in the Pumas 3rd/4th place play-off against England in Paris last weekend. The winger/full-back is now back in the Scottish capital receiving treatment and does not need to undergo surgery.
“He has an injured foot. I won’t go into detail on that. It occurred in the World Cup,” explained Sean Everitt, the club’s ‘senior coach’ earlier today [Friday].
“A guy like Boffelli, you don’t want to lose him when you have a guy like Darcy Graham out [until start of December with a hip injury] and it is a position where we are thin at the moment. We have Duhan van der Merwe back this week [to face Leinster in Dublin on Saturday] which does help us in that position and we have internationals to replace internationals so it is not the end of the world. We are in a fortunate position as far as that is concerned.
Meanwhile, Everitt delivered a more promising prognosis on Viliame Mata, the Fijian No 8, who is missing this weekend with a shoulder injury.
“It’s a minor thing,” he promised. “We felt that to get him back to 100 percent he needs to miss out this week so he doesn’t carry the niggle over a long period of time. He gets this week to rest. He probably wouldn’t have been able to play anyway but he should be better next week.”
With summer signing Scott Steele out until late November, also with a hip injury, and co-captain Ben Vellacott missing this week for “personal reasons”, teenager Hector Patterson will cover scrum-half from the bench against Leinster in Dublin on Saturday. The son of former Scotland cap, Derrick, came through the ranks in Jedburgh and cut his teeth in senior rugby playing for last season’s Premiership champions Hawick, before moving to Super Series with Watsonians this year, making five appearances for the Myreside men during their sprint campaign, then turning out once for Southern Knights and twice for the Future XV in the ongoing Championship.
“Hector has been training with us since pre season and this is an opportunity to show what he can,” said Evritt. “It is a great opportunity for him and a good development opportunity to go to Leinster and sit on the bench for Edinburgh in the URC. It is an exciting opportunity for him and he has been really good at training so he gets his opportunity.
““It’s his speed to the breakdown, his speed of ball as well as his accuracy in his kicking game, and defensively he has been very sound in training,” replied Everitt, when asked why he is confident about the youngster being ready for the step-up. “It’s great that we can give him this opportunity and that’s why we have these guys who are bubbling under. When we are in trouble with senior selection they can come through and show their worth and get some reward for the hard work that they’ve put in.”
Edinburgh have not won in Dublin for 18 years, with current forwards coach Stevie Lawrie an unused replacement that day. The Irish side are missing their large contingent of World Cuppers, so the Scottish side are unlikely to have a better opportunity to break that long losing streak.
“I think every weekend is our moment to be quite honest with you,” smiled Everitt. “We have to make improvements on what we did last season. But we’ve spoken about that [record] during the week. When you look back 18 years it seems like a long time.
“Edinburgh have always been in the fight against Leinster but haven’t managed the result. It comes down to a bit of belief. We’re sitting with a team that’s laden with internationals so there’s no reason why we should lack belief, although the last time we beat them was 18 years ago. We’ve got to be accurate in our performance. We know what we have to do to be able to beat Leinster and it’s a matter of once again being resilient and sticking to our plan.
“We had a poor start against the Dragons and then fought back into the game. We gave up a lot of turnovers and didn’t finish off our opportunities. Likewise against the Lions. It’s actually in our hands and something we’ve worked on in training. If we can limit our turnovers against Leinster, why wouldn’t we come away with a result? It’s really up to us and how we perform to come away with a victory.
“We have to carry what we have done over the last two weeks into the Leinster game. We made life difficult for ourselves between minute 20 and 60 last week and we conceded turnovers so we have to be right at the breakdown this week as Leinster are effective at the breakdown. At the same time, we need to put pressure on the opposition ball so that is a major work-on for us to come away with the result this weekend.
“Regardless who they [Leinster] put out they are always a threat to the opposition and the Sharks found that out last week. They had some youngsters in the team and played exceptionally well against an experienced Sharks team so Leinster cannot be under-estimated. My previous experience against them at Kings Park in Durban [when coach the Sharks], they brought a ‘B’ or ‘C’ team over and nearly beat us and we had a Springbok loaded team so whatever team they put out they are a threat and we have to be at our best to be able to turn them over.