More than a decade has passed since Edinburgh first stunned Toulouse in a Heineken Cup to reach the semi-finals for the first time.  

That campaign ended with defeat to Ulster in Dublin, while the 2015 season saw Edinburgh reach the Challenge Cup final, only to lose to Gloucester. That was the last time the club came close to winning a major trophy.  

In the past couple of years, the club has added title-winning experience to its squad – first Sam Skinner joined from Exeter after winning the league and cup double with the Devonians in 2020, before Ben Healy arrived last summer having helped Munster to the URC title.  

Scotland Rugby News: Sam Skinner won the Champions Cup during his time at Exeter ChiefsSam Skinner won the Champions Cup during his time at Exeter Chiefs (Image: SNS)

Scotland lock Skinner wants to help Edinburgh shake their reputation as being frustratingly inconsistent – a trait he described as “typically Scottish”.  

When asked if Edinburgh need a statement away win against Sharks in their Challenge Cup quarter-final this weekend, he said. “I think so, yeah. In truth, we’ve been quite typically Scottish in the last couple of years. We’ve shown really good things but haven’t necessarily been consistent with it. 

“A game like this is a great opportunity for us to start to change the tide on that.” 

Skinner and his team-mates are now back in South Africa and preparing to face Sharks just two weeks after a 23-13 URC defeat in Durban.  

READ MORE: Five things we learned as Edinburgh slump to Sharks defeat

Skinner believes Edinburgh have the tools to turn that result around.  

“I know there’s enough in the team,” the 29-year-old said.  

“There was enough in the team last time, we just didn’t execute our gameplan as accurately as we can.  

“There’s a real good focus about the group. I think the win [against Bayonne] has helped us, it’s reminded us of that belief, the quality we’ve got and who we are. 

Scotland Rugby News: Sam Skinner celebrates the win over Bayonne with Edinburgh team-mate Matt CurrieSam Skinner celebrates the win over Bayonne with Edinburgh team-mate Matt Currie (Image: SNS)

“I’m really excited and really looking forward to this because we know how to beat them. It’s easier said than done, obviously. We’ve just got to make sure we commit to the game-plan properly.” 

Skinner knows Edinburgh’s set-piece, which faltered at times during the two sides’ meeting a fortnight ago, will need to be at its best against a Sharks side full of South African internationals.  

“The scrum’s going to have to be really good against their front row, obviously.  

“The maul was really good last time, both sides of the ball, and it’s going to have to remain that good. 

“There’s no denying the quality they’ve got in their front row but we’ve got pretty good scrummagers as well. We’ve got a good idea of the plan there.” 

READ MORE: Pierre Schoeman set for Edinburgh return in Sharks quarter-final

Skinner, who has 35 caps for Scotland to date, said being proactive would be key this weekend.  

He added: "It’s not [about] trying to not lose. 

“We’re going to implement our game-plan; respect them for what they have, because what they have is outstanding, but believe in what we’ve got and stick our plan on them and repeat for 80 minutes.”