Edinburgh Rugby fans will have to travel to the Borders for a first glimpse of new signings including ex-Ulster prop John Andress and stand-off Tom Heathcote, formerly Bath, next season.
The new Edinburgh campaign will be launched with a friendly at Melrose against Leicester Tigers on Saturday August 23 (kick-off 2pm), with a match scheduled against Newcastle Falcons six days later at an as-yet unspecified Borders ground.
English cracks Leicester thrashed Edinburgh 39-0 in the 2007-08 European Cup before the Scottish-based team bounced back weeks later to record a win in the return fixture at Murrayfield.
It appears that Melrose won a bid to host the game once it was decided to take the pre-season friendly out of Murrayfield, where all Edinburgh’s league and cup fixtures will be staged next season. A statement from Edinburgh managing director David Davies thanks “all the Border clubs involved in the tender process”.
• THE draw for the first round of next season’s Scottish Cup on August 30, featuring national league clubs in all three divisions, has thrown up an intriguing derby in which Stewart’s Melville host RHC Cougars.
Other selected ties: Preston Lodge v Ardrossan; Watsonians v Biggar; Whitecraigs v Haddington; Aberdeen Grammar v Murrayfield Wanderers; Musselburgh v Livingston; Lasswade v East Kilbride.