Edinburgh owe fans in Europe, says Greig Laidlaw

By Jim MasonBBC Scotland rugby reporter
Greig Laidlaw and Al Kellock
Laidlaw and Glasgow's Al Kellock are hoping for better European form

Edinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw says his side owe Scottish rugby fans some Heineken Cup success.

Scotland's national team failed to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.

And none of their club sides have qualified from the pool stage of the top European club competition since season 2003-04.

"We've got a responsibility to give them some success, give them something to shout about," scrum-half Laidlaw said at the cup's official launch.

"There's good fans in Scotland. There's fans there that want to come and watch good rugby."

Edinburgh sit third bottom of the RaboDirect Pro12 table with two wins and five defeats from their seven games, but Laidlaw hopes that their returning World Cup squad players will revitalise their season.

"We've been struggling a bit in the Rabo, but we can look forward to the Heineken Cup in a fresh light," he said.

"We've got nothing to lose going into the competition and that's the attitude we'll take into it."

Edinburgh have only progressed once from the group stage - eight seasons ago - and this time will battle it out for qualification with Cardiff Blues, London Irish and Racing Metro 92.

Cardiff sit fourth in the Pro12 table, London Irish are mid-table in England's Aviva Premiership, while Racing Metro lie sixth in France's Top 14.

However, coach Michael Bradley, whose side kick off their campaign against 2008 semi-finalists London Irish, is hopeful of progressing from Pool 2.

"There's no stand-out winner of this group," told BBC Scotland ahead of his first European campaign in charge of the Murrayfield outfit.

"Momentum is going to be critical for all the sides involved.

"If we play as well as we can play and take our chances, I think Edinburgh rugby have a really good chance of getting to the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup."

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