Edinburgh Rugby assistant coach Duncan Hodge admits that French opposition appear to bring the best out in his squad, and he is looking to his players to extend their impressive record against French teams this Friday when his side take on Bordeaux Begles at Murrayfield in their second European Challenge Cup game of the campaign.

Last season, Edinburgh were hugely impressive in beating Toulon home and away, as well as defeating Montpellier at home. And last week, a bonus point win against Agen gives the distinct impression there’s something about French sides that suits Edinburgh.

“Potentially (French teams do bring out the best in us),” said Hodge.

“We’re fit and in good condition and if we can stick to certain markers, we know we’ll be competitive against French teams.”

Hodge is well aware of the threat Bordeaux, who are sitting in second place in their domestic league, will pose to Edinburgh’s excellent record on Friday, but he is optimistic they can continue their match-winning form, particularly as playing French sides back-to-back can be hugely advantageous.

“Bordeaux are kind of typically French: they’re a big side, based around set piece and a sort of power game, so in that respect they’re no different to Agen, Montpellier and Toulon in terms of some of the basics of the game. But they’re a pretty efficient, well-coached side and they’ve got some good players,” he said.

“It does help playing them back to back. The attack and defensive analysis (for both Agen and Bordeaux) have been very similar. They’re quite alike. It happened last year - we had Toulon and Montpellier back to back. It was a bit of luck that that’s happened and a lot of the messaging is similar.”

The Edinburgh coaches have made clear the Challenge Cup is not their priority this season and making twelve changes from the previous week’s Pro14 game to the side that faced Agen highlighted that. However, the players brought in performed admirably and Hodge admits it is hugely encouraging to know the strength-in-depth of the squad they have at their disposal.

“There was a lot of good performances (against Agen) from some guys that haven’t had masses of rugby, so that’s great for morale,” he said.

“We’re trying to rotate the squad a bit more. We’ve got to trust the players. The flipside is that when you select these players they’ve got to stand up and they did that last weekend. This Friday, whoever’s selected will be no different. Potentially there’s going to be some changes and the onus in a competitive squad is to stand up and earn or keep their places.”