Ben Cairns eager for Edinburgh return after 16-month absence

Interview - Edinbugh Rugby centre Ben Cairns

Edinburgh's Ben Cairns hopes to put "a really, really frustrating period" behind him when he makes his return in Friday's Heineken Cup match.

A knee injury has kept the Scotland centre on the sidelines for 16 months.

"To get back out at Murrayfield, I love playing on that pitch," said Cairns ahead of the meeting with Racing Metro.

"I'm really looking forward to it. It's a massive pitch, lots of space. It's been a testing time for me so to have that opportunity is great."

Cairns says he became somewhat of "a film buff" during his protracted rehabilitation.

"It was really frustrating," he explained. "I was already able to cycle and squat before I even had the operation and then three, four months after, I was into running. But then I had to wait another five months before I could play.

"It's amazing how perspective changes. The first time I ran back outside was an amazing feeling; just to be able to run on grass again was fantastic. It's been small steps all the way through and obviously the next step is playing on Friday."

With three defeats from three pool matches so far, Edinburgh's Heineken Cup form this season has not matched their achievements last term, when they won five out of six pool matches before going on to reach the semi-finals.

"I think we probably got the bounce of the ball last year, which helped a lot and once you have a bit of momentum, that really carries you forward," added Cairns.

"We've stuttered quite a bit this year and really struggled to gain momentum going into the competition and if you've got any kind of weaknesses going into the competition then they're found out, which was saw in the first two games.

"Last week's performance [against Racing Metro in France] was a lot better. We had chances to go on and win that game and hopefully we can turn that around and get our first win in the competition."