The move to Myreside is almost complete for Edinburgh Rugby, with kickoff just over a week away, as they settled into their new home today.
The past months have been hectic as plans have been finalised however, the partnership between George Watson’s College and Edinburgh Rugby has created a gameplan for both partners. Myreside has seen the addition of two new stands to increase the ground’s capacity to one that is suited to the turnout of supporters at Murrayfield.
This morning saw the team participate in their first training session at their new home, in preparation for this weekend’s away game against the Harlequins. Players Anton Bresler and John Hardie were able to take time out of their schedules to spend time with our Primary 5 and Primary 6 pupils and answer their questions. These ranged from how they deal with playing live on television to what it is a professional player actually does! Both players were looking forward to the change of home venue, particularly the more intimate atmosphere, and John noted that “5,000 is going to feel like 60,000 at Murrayfield.”
This idea of a more hostile arena was carried forward into the press conference with Interim Head Coach Duncan Hodge and fly half Duncan Weir. Having only played once at Myreside, Weir is looking forward to this “good change for the club”, and is hoping the team can embrace the new buzz and excitement created by the full stands every week. Weir also reflected on a similar move the team made to Scotstoun when he played for Glasgow Warriors. It took time but he emphasised the need to stay focused and not let outside distractions interfere with game preparation.
Duncan Hodge is feeling very optimistic and excited about the future prospects and believes that Myreside can be the defined home the club is looking for. He outlined the key advantages both for the club and also for the School. Home games on our School pitch will bring new publicity for the school but more importantly the School’s rugby players will have a professional team right on their doorstep and Watson’s teams will be able to take advantage of observing this top level sport.
Myreside also comes with its challenges. The more open stadium will allow the elements, especially wind, to have a more influential impact on the game. However, after a few fixtures, Hodge believes the team can adapt and use this to their advantage against teams unfamiliar with the pitch.
Edinburgh’s first game at Myreside is on 20 January at 7.35pm.
Edinburgh Rugby is encouraging support and hopes to fill the stands throughout the season with their #FillMyreside hashtag, which emphasises the new relationship between George Watson’s College, our Myreside pitch and Edinburgh Rugby.
Katie Donaldson and Fergus Mainland (both S6)