Hamilton On Battle Of The Giants

ImageCraig Hamilton shares the same surname, nationality and height as Leicester giant James but he is adamant any clan loyalties will be put to one side when Edinburgh visit Welford Road in the Heineken Cup on Saturday (17 November, kick off 3pm).

The pair, who both measure in at a neck-aching 6" 8", are rivals for a role in Scotland's second row with Tigers" lock James currently ahead of Edinburgh's Craig in the pecking order.

But former Borders man Craig, 28, is aiming to hand national side coach Frank Hadden a timely reminder by spoiling James's 25th birthday by helping Edinburgh to a shock win, even though he admits the duo are friends off the pitch.

Hamilton said: "I don't think we are related, but I guess it is a coincidence. He is a really nice chap as well.

"I have trained with him in the Scotland sessions and he is a gentleman off the pitch. But he is a big unit; he has got the bulk and the build. If we do play against each other it should be interesting to see how that goes.

"But I am really looking forward to the game in general. I don't look for any individual contests in a game. As long as I do my job, then everything else should follow.

"Right now, I think I am getting back to my best form. I had a bad injury last season and that threw me back a bit. But now I feel game-by-game I am getting more confident and I am starting to play a lot better."

Despite being written off as rank outsiders to achieve a result in the East Midlands at the weekend, five-cap Hamilton believes Edinburgh can spring a surprise against England's double winners.

He added: "We played really well against Toulouse and they are one of the best teams in the competition. Leicester aren't firing on all cylinders at the moment. So I think this should be a good chance to take them on.

"We are pleased with the way our line-out has worked, even though we are all still learning about each other. But I think the amount of effort we have put in on the training field has shown in the games.

"We do a lot of work off the pitch as well; analysing videos and seeing which line-outs will work against which defence. The coaching from Andy (Robinson) and Rob (Moffat) has also helped us to take us forward."