Edinburgh team-mates have point to prove

By Jim MasonBBC Scotland rugby reporter
Scotland player Tim Visser
Tim Visser is ready to make his Scotland debut on Saturday

They may be team-mates at Edinburgh but, on Saturday, Netani Talei and Tim Visser will go head-to-head in Lautoka as Scotland play Fiji in the second game of their summer tour.

Both men figured prominently in Edinburgh's Heineken Cup run last season, and they both have a point to prove at the weekend.

Number eight Talei is the captain of the Fijians and will be desperate to lead his men to victory after their narrow defeat by Samoa last weekend.

The Fijians went down 29-26 in the Pacific Nations Cup match in Tokyo, but Talei believes there were positives to take out of that narrow defeat.

"The first 20 minutes we scrummed pretty well and then we took our feet off the pedal," he said.

"I told the boys we need to keep applying the pressure for 80 minutes against Scotland. They'll come at us 80 minutes non-stop."

Visser is not the only Edinburgh team-mate Netani will face, and he singled out stand-off Greig Laidlaw for particular mention: "It's not going to be easy playing against players like Laidlaw who kick from everywhere. We lack discipline but there's room for improvement."

Visser will play his first game for Scotland in Lautoka and Talei is all too well aware of the threat that the Dutchman poses: "Tim is a very amazing player, but we've got two boys in our squad who are the same type of player as Visser - it'll be a good show I think."

As for Visser, his delight at being named in Saturday's team was evident as he joined the rest of the Scotland touring party on a cultural visit to the village of Nawaka.

"Its been a long time… three years now. This is now the realisation that I've actually been able to get here which is brilliant."

Both Talei and Visser are players who revel in good underfoot conditions and a dry ball, but the omens were not good today as the rain in Fiji was torrential.

Visser is hoping that conditions will improve before Saturday: "Ideally we'd like some sun… ideally with a little bit of cloud because it gets quite hot out here. We've had some brilliant days and then a real downpour today. In terms of training its been hard to prepare for what to expect."

What will be certain is that Saturday's game between the two nations will be a tough one.

In Talei and Visser lies the potential to be a matchwinner.

Whoever emerges on top at the weekend will secure Murrayfield bragging rights for a while to come.

Top Stories