SRU chief: More Edinburgh signings in pipeline

Mark Dodson. Picture: SNS/SRU
Mark Dodson. Picture: SNS/SRU
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Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson is set to add to Edinburgh’s already inflated squad, with a stand off cited as a prime acquisition.

Dodson has defended the decision to keep 57 players on staff while hinting that the cheque book would be out as soon as a suitable signing target was identified.

“I would not say this is necessarily the end of the people we are going to sign (for Edinburgh),” said Dodson.

“Edinburgh have Harry (Leonard) but Gregor (Hunter) and Piers (Francis) are out injured and we don’t want to play Greig Laidlaw at stand off.

“Edinburgh do need an experienced No. 10. If there was an injury to Harry Leonard that is something that could put us back. We could look at moving somebody along the M8 but I don’t want to disrupt Glasgow to get Edinburgh through a hole. I’d rather go out and bring somebody in but 10, 5’s (second rows) and No. 8’s are not very easy to find.

“If you look at Glasgow they have depth at stand off with Duncan Weir, Ruaridh Jackson, Stuart Hogg, Scott Wight, Peter Horne and Fin Russell who can all play there.

“While Glasgow have seen consistent growth, Edinburgh supporters have not had much to cheer about (and) we have to make sure we invest equally.”

On the bloated Edinburgh squad, Dodson said: “We are caught between two regimes.

“We have a squad prepared by the previous management and we now have Alan Solomons’ squad coming in.

“There is bound to be some overlap until some players leave us and some join us.

“There are a large number of players out of contract at the end of the season and we are already having talks with them.

“I suspect by the beginning of next year you will see a different Edinburgh side.

“People thought I was harsh when I said Edinburgh were soft. I didn’t just say that from my own observations, I spoke to people in Europe I respected. “They knew Edinburgh as a team that could put 20 points past them but they also knew Edinburgh as a side that could crumble and lose 20 points in 20 minutes. With the side Alan (Solomons) is going to build people won’t want to play Edinburgh very often.”

One of the players Solomons has brought in is South African back row Cornell Du Preez, who has expressed interest in playing for Scotland after fulfilling a three-year residency qualification. Dodson said: “When you look at what is happening elsewhere, for example England, and even Tim Visser coming over here you see it as a global market place.

“We either play our part in that or we don’t.”