Mustchin: We Have Grown Massively

ImageMatt Mustchin revealed he is looking forward to resuming competitive action when Edinburgh take on Glasgow Warriors in a back-up game at Meggetland next Monday (4 February, kick off 7pm), although he admits his recent break enabled him to recharge his batteries ahead of the season's final furlong.

The versatile forward, who turns 31 on Sunday, recently enjoyed a sunshine break away from rugby with his family on the Portuguese island of Madeira.

But now he has returned to Scotland determined to play his part in helping Edinburgh to finish the Magners League season on a high note; starting with the friendly against the Warriors next week.

Mustchin said: "It is important we play this game during the time we have got off. The fact is that you can lose your fitness really quickly, so we need some sort of game to keep everything ticking over.

"It is a frustrating time of the year because you want to play rugby week in, week out. But I"ve been playing consistently since November in some pretty intense games, so you pick up knocks that you just end up carrying through each week.

'so this break gives you a chance to get over those knocks. Getting away with my family and taking some time out without thinking about rugby too much."

Despite starting the season as a flanker, Mustchin has undergone a successful transformation into a combative lock and has forged a streetwise second row partnership with fellow New Zealander Ben Gissing.

And the Christchurch-born player acknowledges the change of role has done him the world of good and that he is enjoying life in the front-five.

He said: "It has been a good season " even though I started off in the back row. The previous coach Lynn Howells and Moff (Rob Moffatt) decided in the off-season that they wanted to play me in the back row.

'so that was fine, but Andy has come in and has seen me as being more of a second row. When you look at our back row then it is really competitive, so it might have been really hard to get in.

"But having said that I don't mind where I play just as long as I"m given a chance. The main thing is at the moment is when you play you have to play well.

"One of the reasons the team has done so well this season is that no matter who is playing they are all playing really well; that is really good for the squad."

After the back-up game against Glasgow, Edinburgh then face former European champions, Munster at Murrayfield on Friday 15 February in a must-win clash between two championship contenders.

And Mustchin admits that without Ireland stand-off Ronan O"Gara's kicking ability, Munster will be a different proposition at The Castle.

He said: "Munster are traditionally a forward-orientated side with Ronan O"Gara dictating the game with his boot. But obviously he won't be involved and a few of the forwards won't be involved as well.

'so it gives us a really good opportunity to have a good go at them. We were close to beating them over there earlier on in the season and I hope we have got a really good chance to progress.

'they have got a very talented back line there with the likes of Doug Howlett, Lifeimi Mafi and Jeremy Manning; they are all talented footballers.

"It is so important after we play Glasgow on Monday that we feel fresh and ready to take on Munster the following week.

"We learned a massive amount down in Cork because we gave away some silly penalties in the last 10 minutes of the game and it cost us.

"When you look at the side now; we don't do those silly mistakes anymore. That is something that Andy has come in and done a lot about.

"As a team we have grown massively and that has shown in the way everyone is playing."

Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors (Back up game), Monday 4 February, kick off 7pm at Meggetland, admission for this match is FREE

Edinburgh v Munster (Magners League), Friday 15 February, kick off 7.30pm at Murrayfield, admission: adults _15, concessions _5. To book tickets call 0131 346 5180.