It is a good time to join, then, for Izak van der Westhuizen. Not only is he getting his first run of games since he joined the club at the start of last season but he is getting them at a time when Alan Solomons, the new head coach, is introducing a style of play that suits him down to the ground.
"Alan has been around so he knows what he is doing, he brings a lot of structure," said the lock as he and his teammates prepared to travel to the Liberty Stadium where they will face the Ospreys tomorrow.
"We are also getting to a stage where the guys are getting much more physical, you can see that in the training. Physicality is the main thing; just an attitude, an way of thinking about that is different from last season.
"Technically, a lot of things are changing - they keep talking about the preseason within the season because we are learning so much - but I am happy just to be playing."
It is such a contrast to his first experience of Edinburgh a year ago when he arrived on the back of a full season of Super Rugby and the Currie Cup, only to run straight into an ankle injury that restricted him to half a dozen games before he had surgery on it that kept him out for the second half of the campaign.
"Just being able to play week-in, week-out - touch wood - is great," he said. "I am used to a very physical game, so I can bring that to training and guys are picking up on that and challenging each other even more."
It is a challenge that is going to have to step up to an even higher level this week. As Solomons pointed out, Wales provided the bulk of the Lions side that defeated Australia and the Ospreys are the pre-eminent club in Wales. "We have the ability to compete but we must not lose sight of the fact that we are missing some key players," the coach added.
"We needed to get a performance that got the win last time [against Newport Gwent Dragons] and we did that, though it was far from perfect.
"There were parts of it that were pleasing, and we started to see some green shoots of improvement in defence, though there is a long way to go," he conceded.
Edinburgh (v Ospreys, RaboDirect PRO12, Liberty Stadium, tomorrow 6.30pm)
G Tonks; N Walker, D Fife, N De Luca, T Visser; H Leonard, S Kennedy; A Dickinson, A Lutui, G Cross, G Gilchrist, I van der Westhuizen, D Basilaia, R Grant (capt), D Denton
Substitutes: J Hilterbrand, W Blaauw, WP Nel, O Atkins, H Watson, S Hidalgo-Clyne, M Tait, J Cuthbert