Edinburgh Rugby hope to play some games at Easter Road next season as they explore the possibility of a permanent move to Hibs’ ground.
In their former guise as Edinburgh Reivers, the PRO12 club played some Heineken Cup matches at the Leith ground in the 1998/99 season and, as they look to move away from the cavernous Murrayfield Stadium, they have earmarked Easter Road as their preferred option for a new home.
Discussions have been ongoing between the SRU and Hibs, and Mark Dodson, Scottish Rugby’s chief executive, is hopeful that steps can be taken to test the viability of such an arrangement in the 2015/16 campaign.
“You see some leaks in the press about us talking to Hibernian about Easter Road,” Dodson told the BBC. “We’re closer to that than we have been for a while. Our hope would be that we can have a couple of games as a test with a view to us moving there. We hope we can come to some sort of arrangement for the coming season. We can’t stay at Murrayfield for the longer term.”
Edinburgh often attract crowds of less than 4000 to their matches at Murrayfield which has a capacity of 67,500 and the SRU is keen to move somewhere that will allow fans to generate a better atmosphere.
While Hibs would benefit financially from such a move, they will have to establish whether their pitch is able to deal with the demands of staging Edinburgh’s matches on top of their own. The rugby team play a minimum of 11 home league games in the PRO12, in addition to cup and European ties.