RaboDirect PRO12
Visser defends overseas recruitment policy
ESPN Staff
August 2, 2012
Edinburgh winger Tim Visser, Edinburgh v Toulouse, Heineken Cup quarter-final, Murrayfield, Edinburgh, Scotland, April 7, 2012
Edinburgh flyer Tim Visser made his Scotland bow during their recent tour of Australia and the Pacific Islands © Getty Images
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Teams: Edinburgh | Scotland

Edinburgh winger Tim Visser has defended the club's policy of recruiting players from overseas to bolster their home-grown talent.

The Dutch-born Visser, who arrived at Murrayfield three years ago and has since qualified for Scotland and made his international bow, believes the club can benefit greatly from the addition of key foreign players while still identifying and nurturing the best Scottish talent. The current squad now features players from as far afield as Fiji, Georgia and South Africa and Visser insists they are now in good shape to challenge for honours in the RaboDirect Pro12 and repeat improve on their semi-final appearance in last season's Heineken Cup.

"We have foreign quality coming in to make us more competitive in the Rabo where we have really struggled when internationalists were away," Visser told The Scotsman. "I know there is some discussion at the moment in the press and the rugby community that it's hampering young Scottish talent, etc.

"You have to look at it the other way as well. It's tough for us to be competitive when those youngsters aren't where they should be yet and they can't compete at the level of the Rabo. If we can't find them yet in the Scottish rugby community, then we have to look further afield. "That is obviously what Michael (Bradley, coach) has done. I think it is brilliant. I know it is hampering young Scottish talent but we need to be more competitive in domestic league form than we ever have, especially with the expectations we built last season (reaching a Heineken Cup semi-final).

"Last year it was very evident that the period when the internationalists were away cost us the league. We have been able to bring players through though (Matt Scott, Tom Brown, Dave Denton and Lee Jones who won first caps last season) and that is another reason why we now have had to look further afield."

Visser has been the league's top try-scorer for the past three seasons but is aware that his international status may now limit his contribution. "Hopefully I will be away on international duty statistically to get top Rabo try scorer again is going to be a lot tougher. I'll still try and be up there. Try-scoring is one of my traits and I want to keep it that way. I want to keep the consistency I have shown for Edinburgh."

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