Gilchrist insists it’s time for Edinburgh to make their big statement
EDINBURGH lock Grant Gilchrist believes that his side are ready this season to make a real impact in the Guinness PRO14.
The capital club reached the playoffs two years ago but last season, were in disappointing league form, finishing only fifth in their conference. However, Richard Cockerill’s men have been in excellent form so far this season and currently sit third in their conference after six league games.
What has been missing from Edinburgh, believes Gilchrist, is consistency but the 29-year-old is confident there is the strength in depth in the squad this season to ensure there are far fewer blips in form this year.
“I see this as our statement season. We’ve had a couple of years where we have shown a bit of growth, and now we need to deliver this year,” he said.
“Every tournament we are in it to win it, but if you look at teams that have gone on to win silverware they haven’t just got there overnight, they are on an upward path.”
Edinburgh face Munster at Independence Park tomorrow evening and Gilchrist has admitted that it will be vital if his side are to achieve their goal of qualifying for the play-offs of this season’s PRO14. Munster are currently top of Edinburgh’s conference, with the Scots in third place after six games and while Gilchrist knows defeating the Irish is no easy task, he is well aware of the significance to his side’s season if they could grab a victory.
And with the Irish defeating Edinburgh in the PRO14 play-offs two seasons ago and again last year in the Champions Cup quarter finals, a win on Friday would be extra sweet for Gilchrist and his team-mates. This was always going to be a huge game. We knew it was coming up in the calendar.
“We are under no illusions as to its importance for our section of the league – it is a chance for us to close the gap on first place,” he said.
“We want to be in the play-offs at the end of this season so this a great opportunity for us to go out there and put ourselves in a great position in the league.
“It’s a double-pointer. Munster are top dogs in our pool at the moment so if we can go out there and get a result then we are making a serious statement that we are contenders for the play-offs.”
We have shown a bit of growth, and now we need to deliver