PREVIEW | Cockerill: "We look forward to the challenge."

Head Coach Richard Cockerill has called on his squad to rise to the challenge as they prepare to face reigning Heineken Champions Cup and Guinness PRO14 Champions Leinster in Dublin.

Edinburgh play the Irish powerhouse at the RDS Arena this Saturday night (kick-off 7.35pm) live on Premier Sports and Cockerill insists his side will “throw everything” at the five-times league winners.

“It’s going to be a good challenge for us. We have to play them at some point. We’re going to go there, throw everything at them and see where we get to. It’s something for nothing in that regards, as no one expects us to win,” explained Cockerill.

“We pushed them close there last year, and were probably unlucky not to get anything out the game. They’re a great side and had a good win at the weekend.

“It’s going to be a tough evening for us, but one we look forward to. Leinster are and have the best team in Europe, and we’ve got to go there and give it a bash.”

Edinburgh ground out their first win of the season after notching up 17-points against Connacht at BT Murrayfield last Friday, and Cockerill believes his side are starting to find their attacking stride.

“We did some good things. We put ourselves in a position to score tries and on another day, we could have scored more points. It was a solid first win for us and we’re probably a bit nervous at times off the back of two defeats, but on the whole, it was a good win against a competitive Connacht side.

“If you look at last year, it probably took a while for our game to get going. There’s parts of our game that are coming together really well – we’ve shown that in glimpses in our last three games – but we probably need to start pulling them together more consistently.”

With six points from their opening three fixtures, Edinburgh have in large parts named a settled side to open the season. However, Cockerill admits that his squad may need rotation heading into this weekend’s encounter.

The Head Coach also gave an update on the status of several injured players, some of whom could feature against Leinster.

There will come changes to the squad. We’ve got a deep squad and we need to give some guys an opportunity. But we’re going there to get some points out the game. As we’ve seen any points are key, because it’s going to be bloody tight this year.

“Lewis [Carmichael] is injured at the moment. Darcy [Graham] has been injured as well. Chris Dean will come back into the squad – who hasn’t had an opportunity due to injury – and there will be come natural rotation as well.

“Cammy [Fenton] had surgery on his hip and he’ll be three months. Mark Bennett had surgery on his hamstring on Saturday – that will be five to six months. Lewis has had a head knock in pre-season and is still working back from that.

“We’ve got to look after some of the Scotland players – but, we’ve got some Scotland guys who need to come in and play as well. So there will be changes to the squad, but it will be a strong squad.

“As we saw, Ulster got pushed hard at the weekend. Scarlets got pushed extremely hard. Cardiff got beaten away from home by Zebre. Anyone can get beat. Every point is going to count this year.”