EDINBURGH will finish fifth in Conference B whatever happens against the Dragons this afternoon, but their match in the Principality Stadium is still a significant one for their opponents - and for Glasgow Warriors.

Anything but a big win for the Welsh team would mean that Danny Wilson’s side hold on to fourth place in Conference A, a finish that could be good enough for a place in next season’s Champions Cup. By their own modest standards, the Dragons are enjoying a decent season, and they go into this game with their morale having been boosted by last weekend’s victory over the Warriors.

But even allowing for that, and for the fact that a total of 27 players are unavailable to Edinburgh because of injury or international duty, it is hard to see Richard Cockerill’s team losing by the 44-point, multiple-try margin that is the least the Dragons need. The capital club’s hopes of a top-three finish were dashed when they lost to Cardiff on Monday night, but the prospect of a last-16 Champions Cup tie with Racing 92 in Paris next weekend should help them stay focused for this match. 

And, as back-row forward Luke Crosbie insisted, professional pride is always a strong motivator - even if the squad are not too concerned about what the outcome of this game might mean for their Scottish rivals. “The focus is always just on winning for Edinburgh,” Crosbie said. 

“Externally, I don’t really think too much. If it helps out Glasgow, then fair play to them, but if it didn’t help them out then I’m sure the mindset of everyone in the team would be going out there to win either way.” 

Crosbie is one of the Edinburgh players who faces a tough fight to get into the squad for the Racing match - in his case, because Scotland regulars like Hamish Watson and Jamie Ritchie should be back competing for places in the back row. He explained that although playing against Racing’s star-studded line-up had its appeal, he wanted to put everything into this game before turning his thoughts to European competition.

“I’m just looking forward to this weekend, taking a game at a time. Obviously it would be a good experience to go over there, but I’m just trying to put my best foot forward this weekend and see where that takes me.”