Being sent to Coventry means going back home for Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill as he leads Edinburgh into the Wasps’ nest expecting a full-on effort from the Premiership strugglers.
Cockerill was born in Rugby but spent much of his youth in Coventry – his mother’s home town – and played four years for Coventry RFC before joining Leicester in 1992. He remains a fan of Coventry City, the co-tenants of the Ricoh Arena, where today’s game will be played.
“It’s difficult for (Wasps), they’ve got Harlequins, Bristol and Northampton the next three games and the bottom of that table is going to get congested as the season goes on,” he said ahead of the return match in the European Challenge Cup.
“In the Premiership you’re always under pressure to win whether it’s this week or next week in the league, so I think they’ll pick a strong team.
“They did that last week and it didn’t quite work for them. They’ll want to get momentum back and I expect them to pick a strong team and if they win with five points that puts them right back in the mix.
“We need to make sure we get as much out of the game as we possibly can.”
The last of Edinburgh Rugby World Cup stragglers, tighthead prop WP Nel, makes his return but Cockerill makes nine changes from the team that won last week, happy this year to rotate his players with the 1872 Cup doubleheader looming.
“WP hasn’t played for us for a while but it’ll be good to get his quality on the pitch and it’s a big day for the likes of Rory Sutherland, Sam Thomson and Lewis Carmichael to state their claims,” said Cockerill.
“You have to give guys opportunity, and every game we try and win. You have to take a little bit of risk with selection sometimes but look, (Jamie) Farndale has been very good for us, George Taylor has been very good this year, we know how good Jimmy Johnstone can be.
“We could have certainly put a stronger side out but it all comes down to the attitude of the guys on the field. I expect us to go with a positive mentality to win the game. If we win the game we put ourselves in a very good position to qualify for the quarter finals.”
Edinburgh team: Damien Hoyland; Darcy Graham, James Johnstone, George Taylor, Jamie Farndale; Simon Hickey, Nick Groom (capt); Rory Sutherland, Michael Willemse, WP Nel; Sam Thomson, Lewis Carmichael; Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Viliame Mata.
Replacements: Stuart McInally, Jamie Bhatti, Simon Berghan, Ben Toolis, Magnus Bradbury, Charlie Shiel, Jaco van der Walt, Mark Bennett.