Edinburgh ready for 'huge' Cup final against Gloucester

Alasdair Dickinson (centre left) helped Edinburgh warm-up for the Gloucester clash with a 37-0 win over Zebre
Alasdair Dickinson (centre left) helped Edinburgh warm-up for the Gloucester clash with a 37-0 win over Zebre

Edinburgh prop Alasdair Dickinson says Friday's European Challenge Cup final against Gloucester is "huge".

The Murrayfield side were 45-16 winners against Newport Gwent Dragons in the semi-final to set up the clash against the 2005/06 winners at Twickenham Stoop.

"It's up there with probably one of the most exciting games I've played in," said Dickinson.

"It's massive for the club and us as a group of boys."

Dickinson returned to Edinburgh two season ago after leaving for Gloucester in 2007, where he spent four seasons.

He knows what to expect from the favourites, but is adamant Edinburgh's recent good form shows they are in a good place going into the game.

"We're pretty confident," said the 31-year-old. "The last three games have been good and now it's just about fine-tuning a few things.

"We know what lies ahead of us, it's a massive test, obviously Gloucester are on form as well so it's going to be a challenge.

"I think from what the season's been like, I don't think anybody really expected us to get here at the start of the year. It's a huge game."

Edinburgh warmed up for the tie with a 37-0 thumping of Zebre, but the capital side endured a trying introduction to the Pro12 as newly-appointed head coach Alan Solomons tried to blood new ideas.

After a wobbly start they are chasing Champions Cup qualification via the domestic standings, and Dickinson says the reasons behind the revival are simple.

Edinburgh will face Gloucester in Friday's European Challenge Cup final
Edinburgh will face Gloucester in Friday's European Challenge Cup final

He said: "Just hard work. I don't have any magic answers for you.

"There's a lot of times this season where we've been pretty low, especially at the start of the year. But it was just about coming together and not listening to what people outside the organisation were saying and just concentrate on getting better.

"Doing the little things. Little things make a big difference in rugby."

Meanwhile opponents Gloucester have been fined £5,000 and given a suspended two-point deduction for fielding an incorrectly registered player in a Premiership match.

Argentine lock Mariano Galarza, 28, did not hold registration when selected for the 23-6 defeat at Sale on 29 March.

An independent panel said the breach was an "administrative error" and not done to gain a competitive advantage.

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