EDINBURGH assistant coach Calum MacRae believes his team can travel to Ireland in confident mood as they head for the toughest fixture in the PRO14 on Monday night - an away game against Leinster.

The defending champions stretched their winning run in the competition to 24 last time out when they beat Ospreys on Sunday, whereas Edinburgh have only won their last two matches. But the increasing self-belief and strong discipline shown in those victories - at Scarlets then at home to Cardiff - have convinced MacRae that a squad shorn of most of its experienced players is maturing fast.

“It’s a huge test, and a huge challenge - Leinster’s track record speaks for itself,” he said. “But we have to take confidence from our last two performances.

“We’ll be concentrating on what we do really well first and foremost, because you’ve got to go in there bold and brave in your actions to give yourself a chance to at least get a foothold in the game. The main thing is the physical part and making sure we play in the right areas of the game.

“You know you’re going to be fronting up to a physical onslaught. Leinster play a very direct, collision-based carrying game, and if you don’t stand up and get bodies in front of that, they get that go-forward that gives their backs something to play off.

“They do their fundamentals really well and have really effective strike runners. They’ve got very pragmatic game managers and they transfer pressure with their kicking game so that you’re constantly feeling the heat. And it’s just how we can stand up to that and manage it so we can actually transfer pressure back on to them in their half of the field.”

Edinburgh stood up well to the pressure in their last two games, with rookie stand-off Nathan Chamberlain, in particular, rising to the occasion. “Nathan has been diligent - he’s got his head down and worked hard,” MacRae added. “He’s been given some pretty direct feedback at times, but he has taken it on board. The kid has not got an ego: he’s in there to work hard and that’s all you can ask from young guys.

“I thought he was pretty pragmatic in how he approached the Cardiff game, and he grew into it. If you’re a 10, you generally have guys running down your channel, and it’s just about getting him to stick his head in the spokes long enough.”