Webster Returns For Leinster

ImageSimon Webster admits he is relieved to have put his injury nightmare behind him in time to face Leinster in the Heineken Cup at Murrayfield on Saturday (15 December, kick off 3.30pm) and revealed his enthusiasm will compensate for his lack of match sharpness.

The Scotland winger has not played for the club for nearly two months after suffering a succession of injuries following his first game back after the World Cup.

But, even though he acknowledges he will not be completely up to speed, Webster believes his burning desire to help Edinburgh win will play a pivotal role in determining the outcome of the match.

Webster said: "If I"m being honest, I think it will take me a little while in order to regain match fitness. I always feel better after four or five games anyway.

"But what I lack in fitness I will make up for in enthusiasm during the game at the weekend."

To start with, the 26-year-old was ruled out with a shin infection, but after recovering from that set-back his eagerness to return to first team duties then triggered a back injury.

And the fans" favourite concedes he was the chief architect behind the problem because he rushed back into a full-blooded training regime too quickly.

He said: "It is a hard one with those injuries because sometimes you can treat it and it can react really well. But this one was different; we hit it with all sorts of antibiotics and I even took the strongest ones you can get from the hospital.

"It still wasn't shifting it though and it was becoming so frustrating. Once it did go; you have to be very careful that it doesn't come back.

"Basically going from the doctor telling me my leg was fine I started charging around in training and picked up a back injury.

'that was a direct result of not doing anything for a couple of weeks and then rushing into training. I will take some responsibility for that because I should have eased myself back in. But I was so eager to train; even though it wasn't the best thing for me."

While recovering from his injuries, Webster has watched the team employ an expansive brand of rugby with the emphasis on off-loading; a playing style he feels will suit him perfectly.

He said: "We have kept the ball better than we did last season. That aspect helps me because it will bring me into the game a bit more. There have been performances that

"I"ve watched that have left me licking my lips because I thought that type of off-loading game would suit me.

"I watched the game last Friday and I felt there were a lot of things we could have done better last weekend. So if we do those things better then we have a very real chance of winning.

"We have worked hard this week and we are not turning up just to make up the numbers. We beat them here last season, so we will try and do it again this time around."

Meanwhile, Edinburgh have reshuffled the front row with Argentina international Augusto Allori and Scotland prop Craig Smith set to pack down alongside Ross Ford.

Club captain Simon Cross has been handed the blindside flanker berth while first team captain Allister Hogg, who has missed the last three games with a rib injury, is named amongst the replacements.

John Houston, who scored a try in last Friday's defeat at Leinster, moves into midfield alongside Nick De Luca while the half-back partnership of Phil Godman and Mike Blair remains the same._

Edinburgh Rugby Club squad to play Leinster at Murrayfield (Saturday 15 December, kick-off 3.30pm)
15 Ben Cairns
14 Andrew Maxwell
13 Nick De Luca
12 John Houston
11 Simon Webster
10 Phil Godman
9 Mike Blair (captain)
1 Augusto Allori
2 Ross Ford
3 Craig Smith
4 Matt Mustchin
5 Ben Gissing
6 Simon Cross
7 Ross Rennie
8 David Callam
Substitutes: Andrew Kelly, Allan Jacobsen, Craig Hamilton, Allister Hogg, Ben Meyer, David Blair*, Calum MacRae.
*= Member of Scottish Rugby's Senior National Academy