The third round of matches in the Guinness PRO12 take place this weekend with three matches scheduled for Friday night, two for Saturday and one for Sunday.
Welsh outfit the Ospreys, who are unbeaten in the PRO12 this season, will head into round 3 at the top of the table with nine points. The only two other unbeaten teams are Glasgow Warriors and Connacht who are in 2nd and 3rd position respectively. Ulster are the other team in the top 4, courtesy of a draw and a win in their first two fixtures and they are the only team who have two bonus points for scoring four tries or more. Ulster top the try scoring list at this early stage in the competition having scored nine tries in their two matches. However, they have conceded the most tries, a handful, of the teams in the top four.
The second round of matches in the Guinness PRO12 take place this weekend with four matches scheduled for Friday night, one for Saturday and one for Sunday.
Both matches involving teams from Scotland will be played on modern artificial pitches. In the first match, tonight, Edinburgh Rugby will play host to Connacht Rugby at BT Murrayfield in what will be the first match on the newly laid hybrid pitch at the National Stadium. The final fixture of the weekend will see a top four clash between Cardiff Blues and Glasgow Warriors on the 3G pitch at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
Experienced back row, Mike Coman, will captain Edinburgh this season, with Scotland international lock, Grant Gilchrist as vice captain.
Coman, who turns 27 later this month, said: “It’s a massive honour, we’ve got an exciting team and I’m really looking forward to the season ahead.”
Signing for Edinburgh Rugby during 2013/14 on a two-year deal, Coman is no stranger to the captain’s armband.
This weekend represents the final chance for Gregor Townsend and Alan Solomons, head coaches of Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby, to test out various combinations in a match situation ahead of the 2014/2015 season which starts in all earnest next weekend. Edinburgh played their pre-season friendly match last night against Newcastle Falcons in Hawick while Glasgow Warriors face London Scottish in London.
In last night’s match the final score was Edinburgh Rugby 21(11)/15 (10) Newcastle Falcons. Alan Solomons was pleased with the win as although it was only a friendly match they had gone into it with the mind-set of it being a competitive one.
Head coach Alan Solomons will start five of his new Edinburgh Rugby recruits in the club’s first pre-season match against Leicester Tigers at The Greenyards tomorrow (23 August, kick-off 14:00 BST, 15:00 SA Time).
With the exclusion of lock Fraser McKenzie – who returns from Newcastle Falcons to start the game alongside Ollie Atkins – four of the five signings will make their debut for the capital club.
Edinburgh Rugby’s pre-season clash with Leicester Tigers at the Greenyards on Saturday 23 August (kick-off 2pm) will be followed match between two of Scotland’s top clubs, to herald the start of the 2014/15 campaign.
Melrose, Scotland’s champion club, and Heriot’s, holders of the National Cup, will meet later this month in the inaugural BT Scottish Rugby Charity Shield. Richard Mill (left) and Jack Turley fromt he respective clubs are pictured above at today’s launch.
The game will crown a feast of rugby at The Greenyards on Saturday 23 August, the week before the new BT Premiership season kicks-off.
Starting the action on 23 August will be a pre-season clash between Edinburgh Rugby and Leicester Tigers, which will kick-off at 2pm.
Then the BT Scottish Rugby Charity Shield will follow with a 5pm kick-off.
The initiative came from Melrose and was discussed with Scottish Rugby and the Premiership Forum.
Sharks lock Anton Bresler has signed a three-year deal with Scottish side, Edinburgh.
Edinburgh, who are coached by South African Alan Solomons, announced the news via their official website on Wednesday.
Bresler, who has played 39 Super Rugby games for the Sharks, will join his new team after the completion of this year’s Super Rugby competition.
Edinburgh’s backline resources for the new season were boosted with the signing of Highlanders utility back Phil Burleigh.
Burleigh signed a two-year deal with the Scottish outfit.
The 27-year-old playmaker came through the ranks with Bay of Plenty, before becoming a regular star in the Southern Hemisphere’s top flight Super Rugby competition.
Edinburgh Rugby are pleased to announce that Scotland A lock Fraser McKenzie has returned to the club where he began his professional career.
The lock, who can also play on the blind-side, made his Scotland 7s debut in November 2008, represented Scotland A in 2010 and 2011, and was included in the extended Scotland squad for the 2012 RBS 6 Nations.
Moving from Edinburgh Rugby to Sale Sharks in 2011, McKenzie then joined Newcastle Falcons last summer, making a total of 41 English Premiership appearances before earning a move home.
Edinburgh have extended the contracts of trialists Sam Beard and Carl Bezuidenhout.
Beard, who has made 13 appearances since arriving from Bay of Plenty in November, has signed a deal until 2016.
South African Carl Bezuidenhout has penned a contract until 2015.
Lock Izak van der Westhuizen has not passed his medical fitness tests and as such will not be joining the EP Kings for their Currie Cup campaign.
The second row forward started his professional career with the Cheetahs and moved to Edinburgh in 2012 before joining up with the Kings this year.
EP Rugby CEO Charl Crous said the three year contract with the 28-year-old lock out of Kimberley, was subject to his passing his medical fitness tests, and as such the contract would not be coming into effect, effectively releasing Van der Westhuizen.
Scottish Rugby is delighted to announce today that it has secured a long-term, multi-million pounds deal with global communications and broadcasting giant BT.
The four-year partnership, unveiled at the home of Scottish Rugby this afternoon, sees BT
- Secure the naming rights for Murrayfield Stadium, which becomes BT Murrayfield Stadium.
- Become sponsor of the Scotland 7s side from the outset of the 2014-15 HSBC Sevens World Series.
- Become principal and exclusive sponsor of Scotland’s domestic league and cup competitions from next season.
- Become sponsor of Scottish Rugby’s four new academies which will drive forward standards for young players who have aspirations to play professionally.
Edinburgh Rugby have confirmed that nine players will leave the club at the end of the season, at the conclusion of their current contracts.
Among the nine are capped internationalists Lee Jones (Scotland), centre Ben Atiga (All Blacks) and back-row Dimitri Basilaia (Georgia).
When the curtain finally comes down on a long, hard and ultimately disappointing season for Edinburgh tomorrow night, it will surely come as a blessed relief to almost everyone associated with the club.
Coach Alan Solomons has made it abundantly clear that these last run of games have been an exercise in damage limitation. His focus has already moved on to next season, and he has apparently completed the planning and recruitment process (with announcements impending) which he believes will ensure that his troops hit the ground running.
The players are either exhausted after having to adapt during the heat of battle to a whole new way of doing things, or completely demotivated after being brutally apprised of the fact that they are no longer part of the club’s future.
Round 22 of the Pro12 promises to be a fitting finale to the regular season, with Play-Off spots and European qualification still to be settled.
As with previous seasons all 6 games will kick off simultaneously to add to the excitement and give no advantage to any team.
At the top of the table 3 teams are still in contention for the 2 home Play-Off spots and European qualification still to be settled.
Edinburgh Rugby lock Grant Gilchrist scooped this season’s coach-nominated Player of the Season award at the club’s 2013 / 2014 awards dinner. Roddy Grant, Dougie Fife, Cornell du Preez and Alasdair Dickinson were the other players who were honoured for their contributions this year to Edinburgh Rugby.
The May Day weekend should provide the most intense scrutiny of the RaboDirect PRO12 table to date.
The opening fixture between Zebre and Ospreys could go a long way to answering some of the questions – a loss for the hosts would put Treviso in the driving seat for the Italian spot in next season’s European competition, whilst a loss for the visitors Ospreys, without picking up any league points, would take away their mathematical chances of making the Play-Offs .
Edinburgh Rugby’s vision to build a sustainable club founded on young home grown talent emanating from the academy took a step forward today with the recruitment of three Scots into the senior squad.
Elite development players Hamish Watson (back-row), George Turner (hooker) and Jamie Farndale (wing) have all been awarded extended, senior contracts at the club.
With young Scottish centres Michael Tait, Chris Dean and wing Damien Hoyland also among the coming summer’s new recruits, head coach Alan Solomons believes the foundations of his long-term strategy are beginning to take shape.
Peter Murchie scored twice as Glasgow Warriors climbed to second in the RaboDirect PRO12 table with a dramatic 37-34 win over Edinburgh that also sealed them the 1872 Cup for a fifth year in a row.
In their rescheduled clash after January’s fixture was washed out, the Warriors ran in three tries in the first half through Murchie, the departing Ruaridh Jackson and Mark Bennett.
WP Nel barrelled over for the visitors who struggled with ill discipline as they lost a man in each half to the sin bin but Murchie bagged a second soon after the interval to put the Warriors in control.
Glasgow Warriors home RaboDirect PRO12 match against Edinburgh Rugby finally takes places this Saturday at Scotstoun (kick off 19:05 BST, 20:05 SAST) and is the only PRO12 game this weekend. The match, which also doubles up as the second leg of the 1872 Cup, was initially due to be played on 1ST of January this year but was called off due to the pitch being waterlogged.
Had there not been the 1872 Cup to play for there would have been little more than pride at stake in this match for Edinburgh. They have missed out on their chance to qualify for next season’s European Champions Rugby Cup by not being able to end sixth or higher on the PRO12 log. Glasgow, who will play in that competition, will be keen to win the match to enhance their already good chance of qualifying for this season’s knockout stage of the PRO12 by ending in the top four on the log. They should also look to win well and try score four tries at least to pick up an all important bonus point for that too as they still have a chance of securing a home semi final by ending second.
Gregor Townsend today branded Saturday’s 1872 Cup second leg Scotstoun clash with Edinburgh as the biggest game of Glasgow’s season.
A thrilling 27-9 Good Friday victory over Ulster has taken Warriors to within four points of second-placed Munster.
While with the Limerick side set to host third-placed Ulster in their final game of the campaign and the Scotstoun men nursing this weekend’s derby dust-up against Edinburgh in hand, Glasgow’s chances of landing a first-ever home play-off semi-final are growing by the week.
Alan Solomons does not believe his Edinburgh side’s season will have been a failure if they fall short in their bid to reach the European Cup.
A 29-22 home defeat by Cardiff Blues dented Edinburgh’s chances of securing the top-six finish needed to reach the new top-flight European competition.
Die Skotse rugbyklub Edinburgh se Suid-Afrikaanse spens raak al hoe voller. ’n Amptelike aankondiging word eers later verwag, maar Alan Solomons (afrigter) het glo ’n sewende Suid-Afrikaner na Edinburgh gelok.
Die slot van die Haaie, Anton Bresler, sal hom glo ná die Super Rugby-reeks by Edinburgh aansluit. Bresler kan hom as plaasvervanger vir die oud-Cheetahs slot, Izak van der Westhuizen, wat op pad terug na Suid-Afrika is, daar aanmeld.
Edinburgh and Scotland centre Nick De Luca will join French Top 14 side Biarritz at the end of the season.
The 30-year-old has made 125 appearances for Edinburgh and won 41 international caps.
With the Six Nations over the club tournament of Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy takes centre stage once again as round 17 kicks off this Friday.
Having led Leinster to the Pro12 title last season, Ireland coach Joe Schmidt took the 6 Nations crown at the first time of asking in a tense finish to the Championship last weekend. Following on Ireland’s success it is perhaps appropriate that as the Pro12 returns to centre stage three of the top four teams are Irish Provinces.
One of the advantages of having the national rugby union in control of its clubs was highlighted by today’s announcement by the Scottish Rugby Union of the loan of Edinburgh tight head prop Geoff Cross to Glasgow Warriors for the rest of the season due to injuries to two of Glasgow’s props.
Glasgow Warriors are currently in fifth position on the RaboDirect PRO12 log, 3 points behind the forth placed Ospreys, with two games in hand over the teams above them. This loan arrangement indicates that Glasgow reaching the knockout stages of the PRO12 must be considered priority by the Scottish Rugby Union, and as such they and Edinburgh Rugby need to be applauded for this decision.
Edinburgh rugby player, Izak van der Westhuizen, who also played for the Free State Cheetahs, will be joining the EP Kings in June.
EP Rugby CEO, Charl Crous said the 28-year-old lock out of Kimberly, had signed a three year deal with the Kings.
Scotland have made three changes to their pack, among which Kelly Brown is recalled as captain, for Saturday’s RBS 6 Nations Championship match against France at Murrayfield.
Edinburgh Rugby confirmed on Tuesday that scrum-half and captain Greig Laidlaw will leave the club to join English Premiership side Gloucester at the end of the season.
Edinburgh Rugby won the tightest of contests against the Ospreys 31-25 with the decisive contributions coming from Carl Bezuidenhout and Grayson Hart in their match in round sixteen of the RaboDirect PRO12 last night at Meggetland, Edinburgh’s temporary new home ground.
Long-serving Edinburgh Rugby duo Ben Cairns and Steven Lawrie have been forced to retire from rugby due to long-term knee injuries.
The news ends the tenure of the long-serving local lads, both capped for Scotland, who will now pursue careers on the other side of the white paint.
Alan Solomons has lured former IRB Junior World Championship-winning Baby Bok prop Allan Dell to Edinburgh.
Educated at Queens College in Eastern Cape, the promising young prop, who can play on both sides of the scrum, qualifies for Scotland through his grandmother, Joan Carmichael, who was born in Paisley and brought up in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh utility back Jack Cuthbert was called up on Monday into the Scotland squad ahead of this weekend’s potential Six Nations wooden spoon decider against Italy in Rome.
After a round of games played in dreadful conditions during which yet another fixture fell foul of the weather, players and spectators alike must be hoping that Round 14 of the Pro12 fares better.
The round kicks off with two games in the Irish capitals on Friday night, one in Belfast and one in Dublin, both featuring Welsh opposition.
After just over a month out of the limelight, the focus returns once more to the Pro12 and the first of four successive rounds that could have a huge impact on the outcome of this season’s tournament.