Cairns Gunning For Former Mentor Di Rollo

ImageBen Cairns revealed he is planning to teach Toulouse centre Marcus Di Rollo a lesson when the French club visit Edinburgh in the Heineken Cup on Saturday, 10 November (kick off 3.30pm) " even though he admits he was the Scotland centre was his mentor last season.

Di Rollo's summer transfer to south-west France has paved the way through for 22-year-old Cairns to establish himself as the Edinburgh's first choice outside centre.

But Cairns still acknowledges he owes Di Rollo a debt of thanks because he the former Edinburgh back's understudy used to be his mentor when he was first learning the ropes in professional rugby.

Cairns said: "I relish the challenge of playing against Marcus and playing my part in helping Edinburgh win. When I was one of the Academy players here at the club, Marcus was one of the players I looked up to and took a lot of pointers from.

"I looked at his game and asked him lots of questions because he is a really good player. He has done well in the past for Edinburgh and for Scotland and you don't go to Toulouse unless you are a really good player.

"He was definitely someone who I looked up to and last year he was ahead of me in the pecking order. Obviously last season I wanted to take his position, but he wasn't going to give it up easily. Then he left and it gave a chance to establish myself."

Aside from his potential duel with Di Rollo in midfield, Cairns realises that in order to attract Scotland coach Frank Hadden's attention he needs to deliver some accomplished performances during Edinburgh's Heineken Cup campaign.

But the Leeds-born back is also aware that it will be incredibly tough to make his mark against the best in Europe and that club games don't get any bigger than against Toulouse.

He added: 'toulouse has got to be one of the biggest tests in club rugby. I suppose Heineken Cup is the ladder between club rugby and the Test stage.

"I"m just really looking forward to it. Hopefully I can prove myself at that level and then who knows from there?"