Edinburgh forward Bill Mata believes that new senior coach Sean Everitt has helped the team by introducing a simpler game plan. 

The Fijian No 8 was away at the Rugby World Cup when the South African was appointed as successor to Mike Blair, and he admitted to experiencing some trepidation about what it would mean for Edinburgh’s style of play. But he now thinks he need not have worried, and explained this week why he had been reassured by the new coach’s methods.

“I was away when they announced that Sean was the new head coach, so coming in on the first week I didn’t know what to expect,” Mata said. “But after a few weeks with Sean he’s just made everything simple. 

READ MORE: 'It's all luck!' - Duhan van der Merwe on winning Try of the Year

“It’s easy to play rugby now compared to a few other years coming back to a new coach. He just keeps it simple. We’ve got just a few game plans: just three, maximum four, a week.”

Mata was part of the Fiji side that reached the last eight at the World Cup for just the third time. “To be honest, it’s probably the best Fiji group I’ve ever joined, ever since I made my debut in 2017,” he said. “It’s a special group.

“Making it to the quarter-finals, that’s something big for the future of Fiji rugby. Getting recognised and being part of the top eight, that’s a big achievement.”

Mata is expected to be in the line-up that Everitt will announce today for tomorrow night’s home URC match against the Bulls. Jamie Ritchie should also figure in the back row for the first time this season, with Connor Boyle likely to be at seven alongside the Scotland captain and the Fijian. 

The Bulls and Edinburgh have both won three of their opening four games, but the South African team are top of the table and three points clear of the Scottish side thanks to their having picked up three bonus points.