Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw has insisted there will be no divided loyalties on his part when he faces former club Edinburgh in the European Challenge Cup final in London on Friday.
Scrum-half Laidlaw will be looking to spark Gloucester’s attack at the Twickenham Stoop, having joined the English Premiership side from Edinburgh before the start of the season.
“I came to Gloucester to get the chance to play in games like this,” Laidlaw said Thursday.
“Ironically, it is against Edinburgh, but regardless of the result, it was the right direction for my career. I play for Gloucester, my family will be supporting Gloucester and I want Gloucester to win.
“It will be a little bit strange at the start of the game, but once it kicks-off it will be just like any other, but it is a big game and occasion.”
No Scottish club has previously appeared in a major European club rugby union final, while Gloucester are bidding to win their first continental trophy since lifting the Challenge Cup nine years ago.
Now Laidlaw hopes his inside knowledge of Edinburgh’s players will prove useful to the Cherry and Whites, while how he fares against Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, his understudy for the Scotland No 9 shirt, could yet play a key role in deciding the outcome of the final.
“I’ve tried to pass on a few bits of information about how certain players play at Edinburgh,” Laidlaw, the nephew of former Scotland scrum-half Roy Laidlaw, said.
“People have been talking about Sam and our rivalry. He has been playing well, he has taken his opportunity and it just goes to show what can happen when talented youngsters get a chance to have a run in a side.
“He obviously has aspirations to play for Scotland, but so do I.
“He is certainly pushing me, which is great, but I feel as though I have played well in Europe for Gloucester this season, and I want to emulate that on Friday night.
“One-on-one battles are always good to see and good to play in. It’s an opportunity I like — there has been a lot of noise about it — and I am concentrating on my part. I want to win things just as much as the next man.”