AWAY from the limelight, there has been a changing of the guard at Edinburgh this season. With Ross Ford's 35th birthday in April rapidly approaching, he is dropping down the pecking order and David Cherry looks to be in pole position to take over.

Cherry's rise is the reward for patience and perseverance. At 28, Cherry is no spring chicken but he has had to come through the hard way and reckons that might have made him a better player.

"I have had to wait a long time to get my shot back up here, but good things come to those who wait. I bided my time and was happy to get my opportunity," he said.

"I decided the best thing was to go away to university, so I did that but did not get anything, unfortunately. I went down to the Championship [playing for London Scottish] where, if you are in the front five, you certainly learn a lot about the game – it is very much set-piece based.

"From there, I spoke to Scott Johnson [the SRU director of rugby] and an opportunity came up in France [at Nice], a bit of a sideward step to move forward. I did my time there and thankfully got an opportunity in Edinburgh."

So far the hooker, who was in the same school team as Fraser Brown, currently in the Scotland squad, has been restricted to two starts, though he has been regularly on the bench behind Stuart McInally. He is expected to make his third start on Saturday against Cardiff Blues at Murrayfield and is grateful to Ford for the help he has been given.

"Ross has been really helpful. He has helped me develop as a player and guided me a bit. Even though I am an older player, I find he is offering a lot to everyone in the squad with his experience of being Scotland’s most-capped player," Cherry added.