Callam Returns For Leicester Test

ImageDavid Callam is set to make his first start of the season for Edinburgh at Leicester Tigers in the Heineken Cup on Saturday (17 November, kick off 3pm) and has sounded out a warning to England's double winners that the team from the Scottish capital mean business this time around.

After returning from the World Cup, Scotland international Callam has been recovering from a minor knee operation, but the No8 came off the bench during Edinburgh's 19-15 defeat against Toulouse last weekend.

During_his time on the sidelines,_Callam has watched his young team-mates step up to the mark with some accomplished performances and believes Edinburgh have nothing to fear at Welford Road.

Callam said: 'this season_it has been a case of_young players seizing their chances.

"As the season has gone on, you can see that happening and the fact we are hugely disappointed to lose against Munster and Toulouse shows exactly where we are.

"We are not here to come second and pat ourselves on the back by losing narrowly to these so-called big teams. We want to win these games and that is what we are aspiring to do in our preparation."

Rather than worry about being thrown in at the deep end by being handed his first start against England's double winners, Callam admits he is relishing the challenge to test his skill-set against the best; especially because his last match was against the All Blacks.

He said: "It is interesting that the only games I"ve played this season have been against South Africa, New Zealand and Toulouse.

'so the calibre of opposition I"ve come up against has been very high and that will be no different against Leicester. It is just another challenge for myself as an individual and Edinburgh as a team."

The Edinburgh-born loose forward, who was brought up in Bedford, admits he is aiming to use the Leicester game as a springboard to try and establish himself in Scotland's back row.

He said: "I am looking forward to playing more games for Edinburgh and developing as an individual. Personally the World Cup was a great experience, but obviously it was disappointing that I didn't get any more game time.

"I want to be pushing for Scotland for the Six Nations and the summer tour, but that starts here at Edinburgh with the game-time. I"m looking to improve every week both in training and in games."

Meanwhile, Simon Webster is ruled out with a shin infection so promising back John Houston, who scored against Toulouse, is handed the number 11 shirt.

Ross Rennie is named amongst the replacements as part of the club's back row rotation policy with first team captain Allister Hogg taking his spot at openside and club captain Simon Cross moving to blindside.

Scotland prop Craig Smith is also selected to start from the bench and replaces Argentine front rower Augusto Allori while promising youngster David Blair keeps his starting place at stand-off.

Edinburgh Rugby Club squad to play Leicester Tigers at Welford Road (Saturday 17 November, kick-off 3.00pm)
_
15 Hugo Southwell
_
14 Andrew Turnbull
13 Ben Cairns
12 Nick De Luca
11 John Houston
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10 David Blair*
9 Mike Blair
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1 Allan Jacobsen
2 Ross Ford
3 Gavin Kerr
4 Craig Hamilton
5 Ben Gissing
6 Simon Cross
7 Allister Hogg (captain)
8 David Callam
_
Substitutes: Andrew Kelly, Craig Smith, Matt Mustchin, Ross Rennie, Ben Meyer, Phil Godman, Andrew Maxwell

*= Member of Scottish Rugby's Senior National Academy