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Edinburgh Rugby will write a new chapter into Heineken Cup history when they clash with Toulouse at Murrayfield in the opening Heineken Cup quarter-final on Saturday.

But while Edinburgh will have the honour of staging the first tournament knock-out match on Scottish soil, they have no intention of that being the end of the story – they are also aiming to become the first club from their country to contest a semi-final in European club rugby’s elite tournament.
It will be the 12th tournament meeting between the clubs, with Toulouse 10-1 ahead, but Head Coach Michael Bradley is adamant that home advantage will be a huge boost as his side prepare for what will be the biggest ever Scottish club game with 30,000 tickets already snapped up.

“There is a long history between the two clubs and, while Toulouse have the better record, we have beaten them and the ability of both teams to play an open and free running game will certainly put an element of excitement into the fixture,” said the former Ireland scrum-half and captain.

“It is all a relatively new experience for Edinburgh but as we are playing at home in front of a huge crowd and we are approaching this with a degree of confidence while at the same time with an extreme amount of respect for whom we are playing.

“And if we play to our full potential we genuinely believe we can win this match and go through to the semi-finals for the first time.

“It is an absolutely massive game for us against a formidable side. It is going to be a unique occasion, one of those occasions when everyone will take great pride in being Scottish and supporting Scottish rugby.

“Over the last 17 years Toulouse have been one of the best teams in Europe – and quite often the best – and with eight of France’s World Cup squad, plus IRB Player of the Year Thierry Dusautoir, they have an incredible pool of players.

“They will be without the injured Vincent Clerc and Maxime Medard but you just have to look at the back three they can still put out to appreciate the depth in strength they have available.

“No team is invincible but Toulouse are so far ahead of the third placed team in the Top 14 and have such a fine pedigree that you can be sure they are tapering their side to finish the season with silverware and winning the Heineken Cup will be high on their agenda.”

Toulouse have already claimed the most coveted silverware in European club rugby a record four times while appearing in six of the 16 tournament finals, and are in the knock-out stages for the 14th time, only missing out in 2001, 2002 and 2007.

“I am a new coach with a new coaching team but you get the great sense of excitement from everyone at the club,” added Bradley.

“It is being touted as the biggest match in Edinburgh Rugby’s history and it is the first Heineken Cup quarter-final to be played in Scotland so there is huge pride that Edinburgh are the ones to have achieved that.”

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