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Everitt looks for best possible Edinburgh

Tom English, BBC Scotland

As a former Sharks coach, Sean Everitt, now charged with leading Edinburgh, knows what resilience looks like.

In his previous life, he oversaw World Cup goliaths - Siya Kolisi, Eben Etzebeth, Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche and Makazole Mapimpi. Their spirit is something he talks about on the latest edition of the Scottish Rugby Podcast, their attitude being the template for what he wants to bring to Edinburgh.

"They have a real competitive spirit built from within and it’s something that coaches can’t coach," Everitt said of his former players. "They’re relentless. The Springboks talk about having a warrior attitude.

"It’s about the number of battles you are in on the field and how many of those battles you can win. That is the core reason for selection rather than just rugby ability."

Everitt is three games into his time with Edinburgh and has recorded two wins and a damaging defeat in Dublin last weekend against a callow Leinster side. This weekend, they go up against table-toppers Connacht.

“What Rassie [Erasmus, South Africa’s director of rugby] has pushed is that the Springboks try to bring hope to the nation, embracing all cultures, coming together to find a way to make people feel happy about themselves," he said.

"The Springboks take on the responsibility of giving people hope in South Africa. It’s really challenging there at the moment for various reasons. These boys are fighting for their country, but they’re used to fighting because competition for places is fierce and only the strongest survive."

Everitt feels "truly blessed" to have the squad he has in the capital. "I believe this club can win, otherwise I wouldn’t have come," he said. "I feel we have enough talent to challenge in the URC. To say we will do it in the first year is a fairytale, but a small stepping stone would be to get into the play-offs.”

A top-eight spot was way beyond them in a dismal last season and Everitt is not blind to the weaknesses.

"When you look from the outside, you see a team playing an amazing brand of rugby and scoring tries, so they are doing nothing wrong as far as that’s concerned," he suggested. "We can get better at the number of turnovers we concede, the number of penalties we concede. Maybe there was a lack of belief going to Dublin. Nobody is invincible, so that was disappointing.

"We beat ourselves in the errors we made."

Does he think there is enough of the South African-type right stuff in his new squad? "I do," Everitt adds. "You talk about the dog in the fight and I think we have it, we just need to be clinical in pressure situations."