Hodge tells his players form book goes out the window
EDINBURGH have the ideal chance to make it four wins in a row tonight when they host bottom-of-the-table Zebre in the PRO12, but Duncan Hodge has warned his team there is no room for complacency merely because they have found a vein of form.
The acting head coach has been pleased by the commitment his squad has shown in their recent victories, against Treviso in the league and Timisoara and Harlequins in the Challenge Cup, but he has insisted their task now is to avoid the kind of inconsistency that has crept into their play too often in recent seasons.
“We’ll go into the game with some confidence,” said Hodge, whose team enjoyed a dramatic 36-35 win over their English opponents last week. “But this week has been about maintaining those standards. We don’t want to drop at all – we want to keep improving.
“There were some pluses last week, especially in terms of defence and some of our attack, but we were a bit behind with our kick-offs and some of our forward play. We’ve certainly not put together the full package by any means.
“There are always going to be ebbs and flows, but the biggest thing for me is that if we get a lot of building blocks in place then hopefully we won’t have the troughs and spikes and we can start to be consistent over a long period of time.”
Hodge has made four changes to the side that beat Harlequins, all in the pack. Stuart McInally replaces Ross Ford at hooker and new signing Felipe Arregui comes in at tighthead prop for the injured WP Nel, while in the back row Bill Mata and John Hardie are included at the expense of Nasi Manu, who is also injured, and Hamish Watson. Magnus Bradbury moves from blindside to number eight to accommodate Mata, who makes his home debut.