Edinburgh Rugby were today urged to put down even firmer roots at Murrayfield Stadium by Iain Milne, one of the team’s most distinguished players of the amateur era.
Amid speculation about a move to a smaller ground, with Spartans’ Ainslie Park touted as an option, Milne, a former Scotland and Lions prop and current vice-president of Heriot’s, says too much is made of the cavernous nature of the 67,500 capacity Murrayfield as a venue for Edinburgh.
“Edinburgh should realistically be getting 10,000 for most of their games if promoted well and the team are playing well,” says Milne. “I have been to Murrayield quite a lot watching and too much is made of playing in the big ground. If you sit in the East Stand with 5 or 6000 people, I have never found it as bad as people make out. Also, you have tremendous facilities with the bars etc and the stands. It maybe lacks atmosphere but they have to try harder to utilise facilities. A 10 or 12,000 capacity ground purpose-built for Edinburgh would be brilliant but not a facility that accommodates just 6,000.”
Milne feels there are other priorities for centrally-run Edinburgh Rugby. “It’s got to become a club eventually,” he added. “I don’t know if they quite encompass that yet. Being run by the SRU means they are still hamstrung by debt. Where Edinburgh are concerned I think it is a case of accept what you have got and make the best of it until finances come around and a 10-12,000 seater stadium can be built.”