– 2008/9 season preview –
– 2008/9 season preview –
Last time around: Edinburgh enjoyed a fine season last year, and had it not been for points an inferior points difference they would have pipped Munster to third. As it was they settled for fourth, their best ever final placing in the Magners League. With Andy Robinson in charge Edinburgh began to play consistent rugby and picked up valuable wins along the way. Three draws in the season set a Magners League record, as well as highlighting their will to avoid defeat at all costs. At times they just lacked a cutting edge though, which ultimately meant they could never quite put it together in a push for the top of the table.
This time: With the other top sides recruiting well in the off-season Edinburgh will find the going tough this season. The main worry will be when they lose their international players, as not only do they have a young squad but several other top sides have recruited overseas internationals to ensure they don't suffer in the same way. Seen as the stronger of Scotland's two sides the pressure will be on them to finish above Glasgow come the end of the season. It's safe to say that both will be battling it out in mid-table this season.
Coach: In Andy Robinson the Gunners have a fine coach, and he has already proven his ability with the Scottish side. Known more famously for his time as England's Head Coach Robinson was one of the main factors behind Edinburgh's revival last season. And if they are to continue in the same vein he will have an equally important role to play this coming season.
Captain: Edinburgh will be captained by Scotland's Mike Blair this season and he proved to be a logical choice. Having assumed the captaincy of Scotland from the injured Jason White, the highly-rated scrum-half went on to prove he is a worthy leader at international level. His experience will be paramount to Edinburgh's campaign as he looks to guide his side to new heights.
One to watch: Hugo Southwell finally began to show his class last season at both club and international level. Can he develop further from there?
Final 2008/09 league position prediction: 5th
Squad: David Blair, Mike Blair, Ben Cairns, David Callam, Sean Crombie, Geoff Cross, Simon Cross, Nick de Luca, Andrew Easson, Ross Ford, Ben Gissing, Phil Godman, Ryan Grant, Craig Hamilton, Jim Hamilton, Allister Hogg, John Houston, Allan Jacobsen, Andrew Kelly, Gavin Kerr, Greig Laidlaw, Steven Lawrie, Alan MacDonald, Bruce McNeil, Calum MacRae, Ben Meyer, Matt Mustchin, Scott Newlands, Chris Paterson, Mark Robertson, Hugo Southwell, James Thompson, Kyle Traynor, Andrew Turnbull, Steven Turnbull, Simon Webster.
Colours: Black and Red (home) White (away)
Tickets: Ticket prices range from Â£4 to Â£27
Car: At Balgreen Road roundabout take the first exit onto Balgreen Road, turn right onto Baird Drive, and continue along Baird Drive to the car parking area at Murrayfield.
Train: Waverley (Edinburgh) or Haymarket Station. Both stations are a short bus or taxi ride from the stadium. Murrayfield is approximately 20 minutes walk from Haymarket Station.
Bus: Hermiston is served by service 25 which runs every 10 minutes to Gorgie, and Ingliston is served by service X48 to Murrayfield. All services, including Airlink have extra services added to cope with match day demand.
Plane: Murrayfield is approximately 30 minutes drive from Edinburgh Airport.