MICHAEL Todd, the new Edinburgh defence coach, has warned his players that they will need to improve significantly in the contact area to have a chance of beating the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

Todd was relatively pleased with the capital club’s first outing of the URC season, a 44-6 win over the Dragons in which they scored seven tries and conceded none. But he expects the Bulls to constitute a more formidable physical threat than the Welsh team, and knows Edinburgh will need to be on top of their game to have a chance of pulling off an upset.

“I think the contact area has to improve massively,” he said. “It’s going to be a very physical game.

“We probably can’t match their size kg for kg. But technically we need to be better and we can match them in that area.

“You can be the biggest team and not pitch up on the day and the smaller, agile team could take you for a run. So I definitely think attitude is everything. At this level you’ve got to be up for it every week. You’ve got to prepare well and look after yourself well just to be able to put out your best performance.”

Edinburgh’s morale received a significant boost last season when they defeated the Sharks to become the first European team in the URC to record a

victory in South Africa, and Todd believes that a win this weekend would have the same effect.

“It would be a big milestone for us,” he added. “I know how hard it is to come here and win, so for us it would be a massive boost.”

Edinburgh have taken a squad of 34 to South Africa for their two-match mini-tour, which will also see them play the Stormers in Cape Town a week on Saturday. Scotland forwards Hamish Watson and Grant Gilchrist are among the players to be added to head coach Mike Blair’s squad after they were rested from the Dragons game.

l English Premiership club London Irish have announced the signing of three Scots. Stirling Wolves back-three player Logan Trotter has joined for an unspecified period as injury cover – those out of action on the treatment table include Scotland international wing Kyle Rowe. And young Edinburgh players Jamie Jack, a prop, and Patrick Harrison, a hooker, have joined on loan.