Edinburgh Rugby has formed a partnership with George Watson’s College in Edinburgh to play fixtures at its Myreside ground next season.
The capital club have been actively looking for a suitable home ground while currently playing matches at BT Murrayfield.
The club, which plays in the Guinness PRO12 league, has been discussing the move with the school and a partnership has now been agreed which will see them play home matches there from January to May 2017, with an intention to play the full 2017/18 season at the ground.
The School's Myreside ground which is also the home of Edinburgh club Watsonians FC, has previously hosted Edinburgh Rugby matches, most recently during the 2015 RBS 6 Nations when a home fixture against Ospreys was played there.
George Watson’s College is itself developing plans to broaden its sporting provision and invited Edinburgh Rugby to be part of the project.
Jonny Petrie, Managing Director of Edinburgh Rugby said: “This is a hugely positive step for Edinburgh Rugby and we are delighted at the opportunity to play our home matches at Myreside.
“This is about building a strong future for the club at a home ground in the city that better suits our needs and improves the matchday experience for fans and players alike.
“I’d like to thank George Watson’s College for proposing the idea and for their support in working with us to develop the concept into a credible plan.
“We will now be liaising closely with all relevant parties to ensure a smooth transition over the coming months.”
Melvyn Roffe, Principal of George Watson’s College said: “We are excited about the potential for this partnership to build on our rugby heritage and achievements and to enable the School to have a positive impact in the wider Edinburgh community. The School’s plans for the campus will shortly be finalised and the partnership with Edinburgh Rugby will help us to achieve our aspirations.”
Dominic McKay, Chief Operating Officer at Scottish Rugby said: “We are very pleased that Edinburgh Rugby has been able to develop a viable option with George Watson’s College to play home matches at Myreside. We have been investigating options in the city for some time and this opportunity has real potential to build solid foundations for the future.”
Martin Anayi, Managing Director, PRO12 Rugby said: “This is really positive news for Edinburgh Rugby and we fully support their move to George Watson’s College and the Myreside venue. There seems to be real momentum within the club to continue to build their legacy, put roots down and create their own unique atmosphere for fans to enjoy. We look forward to working with Jonny Petrie and his management team as this exciting project moves forward.”
Watsonians President, Keith Watters said: “Watsonian Football Club are delighted to be working alongside George Watson’s College and Edinburgh Rugby to bring professional rugby to Myreside once again.
“The club has always had good links with Edinburgh and the likes of Stuart McInally and Neil Cochrane, who are current members in Alan Solomons’ squad, previously played for us. We look forward to hosting a number of Edinburgh matches at Myreside next season and can assure supporters from all over the capital and beyond a warm welcome at our ground.”
Alan Campbell, Director of PE and Sport at George Watson’s College said: “Clearly our pupils will benefit from upgraded facilities and wider opportunities, as working with Edinburgh will allow us to enhance our sporting programme. However in addition, our hope is that the facilities in and around Myreside will increasingly become a hub for a wide range of sports, enabling us to increase our involvement in the community.”
In the proposal Edinburgh Rugby would play home matches and host captain’s runs at Myreside, with its administrative functions and training still being based at BT Murrayfield.
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