James King admits his chances of breaking into the Edinburgh Rugby starting XV for the Heineken Cup semi final are slim but he remains focused on getting back to full fitness.
King, who has sat out weeks of the campaign with a groin injury, starts at outside centre for Edinburgh when they travel to Cradiff to face the Blues on Sunday.
The 26-year-old is determined to make up for lost time, but concedes that breaking into the team to play Ulster at Dublin’s Aviva Stadium next Saturday looks a remote prospect.
King said: “I think it’s a bit of a long shot, the team’s quite settled as it is so I just need to go out there on Sunday and play as well as I can and put my hand up.
“I was obviously happy with the start of the season. I got about ten starts then the injury came about and I’m just sort of catching up from there. If you take the injury out of my season then you don’t know what might have happened.
“Now I just want to get my fitness back.”
Coach Michael Bradley has thrown down the gauntlet to his fringe players to play their way into a part of the Heineken Cup occasion.
As well as King, Steven Turnbull returns to the line-up at lock, while veteran full back Chris Paterson starts.
Bradley said: “This is where we want to be as a club and, as players, those picked to play Cardiff this weekend know that they could be one performance away from playing a part in a landmark day in the club’s history in the Heineken Cup semi final and, potentially, the final, in three weeks time.
“With so much at stake for these players, they will be mentally primed for this clash. With the right application they are capable for getting the desired result for Edinburgh Rugby.”
Edinburgh Rugby XV to face Cardiff Blues: Paterson, S. Visser, King, Houston, Thompson, Godman, Black; Traynor, Kelly, Gilding, McAlpine, Turnbull, MacDonald, Dewar, Grant (C)