Andy Robinson has highlighted the competition for places in Edinburgh's starting line-up and has identified choosing the front-five as his big selection dilemma. The all-Scotland front row of Gavin Kerr, Ross Ford and Craig Smith were picked to start in Friday's 14-14 draw at Connacht. But with fellow Scotland international prop Allan Jacobsen now on the verge of returning to full fitness and promising hookers Andrew Kelly and Steve Lawrie champing at the bit, Robinson acknowledges he has some tough decisions to make.
Robinson said: "I"ve been pleased with the humility shown by the international players since they have come back. They have really knuckled down and worked with the boys who have been here over the past few months.
'they have listened to what has been said and what has been achieved on so far. The knowledge and the confidence the international players bring helps the belief. I think we have some tough decisions to make over the next few weeks in terms of selection.
"Ross Ford was picked to play against Connacht, but he is competing against two outstanding hookers. I think the challenges there are huge.
"I have been pleased with Gus Allori and the way Geoff Cross has performed while Chunk (Allan Jacobsen) has been on the sidelines waiting to come back.
"We picked two international props which illustrates the competition for places. I have been very pleased with our line-out specialists so far and I think they have developed.
"I think Hammy (Craig Hamilton) is certainly improving " not just in the line-out, but his all-round game is improving. As long as we can see step-by-step improvements coming from him than I will be satisfied.
"Ben Gissing is a very knowledgeable second row and we have got a lot out of him over the past few months. There is competition throughout the squad and I think we have to raise that competitive level over the next few months."