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Lawrie: 'Constructive conflict' philosophy is having a positive effect on Edinburgh's players

Edinburgh's coaches are following a philosophy of "constructive conflict" as they try to demonstrate their project remains on course, according to one of the front-row forwards they are sending into battle tomorrow.

Common enough in the business world, it takes on a new dimension when placed in the world of professional rugby, and especially by one of those who engages in the most combative zone of all as players literally go head to head with one another in the scrummage.

"There's been constructive conflict which is good. That's what we need from all the coaches," said Stevie Lawrie, the hooker who makes his first start for the club for more than a year after suffering a knee injury in December 2011. "[It's been applied] in meetings and on the training ground, as well. Training's been pretty tasty. When things aren't going well, it's only right it gets a bit heated. It's not personal. It's just about making sure we get things right."

Twelve defeats in the past 14 matches have upped the pressure on Edinburgh and invited increased scrutiny on, in particular, Neil Back, the England World Cup winner who took over as forwards coach last summer.

Tom Smith, Back's fellow British & Irish Lion, having helped Michael Bradley, the club's head coach, take them to a Heineken Cup semi-final last season, his recruitment was the most obvious change to the set-up and Lawrie confirmed the former flanker did not seek to continue what was happening. "He's brought in his own ideas. He's obviously a proud man . . . a hard man," he said of Back. "You only have to look at the way he played his rugby. He's brought different things to our forward play and how we can link with the backs in open play, so he's put his own stamp on this pack, as well."

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