Edinburgh Rugby lock Sam Skinner has revealed that there is “more of an expectation” on the Scottish side to do well in this season’s Heineken Champions Cup than usual.
Edinburgh return to the competition after a one-season absence competing in the EPCR Challenge Cup and the Scottish international disclosed that the squad are aware of the pressure to put in a good showing in EPCR’s leading competition.
“There’s a bit more of an expectation of where we are in terms of our capabilities this season,” he said. “That’s really exciting and the Heineken Champions Cup is a huge part of that.”
The 27-year-old won the competition in 2020 while he was at Exeter Chiefs, whom he left in the summer to join Edinburgh, but while he believes his experience of EPCR success is useful, the quality of the team as a whole is what matters most.
“I hope I can add [to the squad], but equally everybody understands what it takes to win games,” he said. “There’s no magic dust that I can bring at all, but there’s a bit of experience, particularly when it gets to away games and the latter games.
“There’s so much quality and so much experience now, I’ll add what I can, but ultimately a lot of the leaders do the talking.”
— Edinburgh Rugby (@EdinburghRugby) December 7, 2022
Edinburgh face Saracens at the London club’s StoneX Stadium in their opening Pool A game on Sunday and Skinner acknowledges the Scottish club face a difficult task against the three-time champions.
“That will be a really competitive game,” he admitted. “Edinburgh had them in the pool stage of the Challenge Cup last season and Sarries will remember that obviously, so they’ll be pretty hungry for it.
“Basically, we’ll probably have to play the best we have all season to get a result down there, which we’re capable of doing, but it’s going to take us at our best and that’s what we plan to do.”