Edinburgh Rugby's Pierre Schoeman now a ‘loud and proud Hearts fan’ after watching win over Hibs

Pierre Schoeman has had plenty of experience of the inter-city derby against Glasgow since joining Edinburgh but the prop got his first taste of a Hearts-Hibs game at the weekend.

The Scotland international was at Tynecastle to watch the home side win 3-1 and was blown away by the atmosphere at the Gorgie ground of Edinburgh’s near neighbours.

Schoeman says he’s now a Jambo for life and would have loved to have gone to this Saturday’s Scottish Cup semi-final when Hearts and Hibs will meet again, this time at Hampden.

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The South African-born loosehead has more pressing matters to attend to, however, and will be lining up for Edinburgh against Bath at the DAM Health Stadium in the European Challenge Cup.

Edinburgh prop Pierre Schoeman took in the Hearts v Hibs game last weekend.

“It was my and my wife’s first football game,” explained Schoeman. “I’m loud and proud now that I’m a Hearts supporter!

“I really enjoyed the passion of the fans. It was incredible to see. I thought that rugby fans were brutal, physical and emotionally involved. But I could see all of that in football as well. They are so passionate. It was a really amazing experience.”

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Schoeman posted footage of himself at the match, complete with maroon and white scarf, and admitted he’d been bitten by the football bug.

“I would definitely go back to another game,” he said. “If we weren’t playing this Saturday, I would have tried my best to get to Hampden for the semi-final against Hibs.”

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Pierre Schoeman has urged Edinburgh to use home advantage against Bath on Saturday night.

“Our neighbours are actually season-ticket holders at Hearts. I believe they are one of the few clubs in the world where the fans own the club and invest their own money as shareholders.

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“That was amazing to see. With our neighbours, it’s a generation of Hearts fans which goes back through fathers and grandfathers.

“They invited us. It’s great to be part of the Heart of Midlothian fan club.”

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Family pride will also play a big part in Edinburgh’s last-16 tie with Bath on Saturday. Schoeman’s older brother Juan - also a loosehead prop - plays for the English Premiership club but is currently sidelined with a neck injury. Any hope Pierre might have had of getting some inside info was quickly quashed.

“I have spoken to him,” said the Edinburgh man. “My brother is the type of guy who doesn’t even want to swear. He’s very loyal and full of integrity. So he’s going to give away absolutely nothing in terms of inside knowledge about Bath.

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“Also, he’s going to have another baby, so his head is all about his family at the moment.”

Edinburgh are unbeaten at the DAM Health Stadium this season and know that victory over Bath would guarantee them another home tie in the quarter-final, against either Biarritz or Wasps.

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“It’s in our hands now to dictate what the future holds in this competition,” said Schoeman. “You really want to use your home advantage. With the fans behind us at the DAM, we play off that. It helps with our physicality, our pace and our tempo. But we know there’s going to be times when it’s a bit up and down. That’s just the momentum of how a game goes. It’s nice to have the fans in the stadium almost helping you get through those dark patches in games.”