EDINBURGH Rugby will face an English Premiership double-header in this summer’s pre-season campaign, the club have confirmed.
Stevie Scott’s Murrayfield side will travel to Franklin’s Gardens on Friday, 23 August to play Premiership runners-up Northampton before hosting newly-promoted Newcastle on Friday, 30 August in a reverse of last year’s preparations.
The Falcons’ arrival will be a homecoming for a number of Scotland caps, with new signings Mike Blair, Phil Godman and Scott Lawson joining Ally Hogg, Scott McLeod and Rory Lawson at Kingston Park this season.
Interim head coach Scott said: “We’re very happy with the calibre of opposition this summer. Northampton are a very strong side and will provide a stern assessment of our squad, three weeks out from the start of the season.
“Newcastle will be another huge test. They have recruited well over the summer, bringing in a number of ex-Edinburgh Rugby and Scotland players in the anticipation of their promotion. They’ll come here with a very powerful and talented squad as they look to underline their new Premiership status.”
The club’s Murrayfield home is available for the game with Newcastle but club bosses are considering switching the match to a venue in the Borders.
Managing director David Davies said: “Murrayfield is one of the world’s great and historic stadia but the representation of the club extends beyond the city boundaries into the rugby regions of the east and west Lothians, the Borders, Tayside and Fife. It’s important that we reach out to the clubs and supporters in these areas.
“We will soon open the discussions with a number of Border clubs to test the enthusiasm and mutual benefits, and to make it clear that Edinburgh Rugby is open to ideas that can help us work with the domestic club scene to help us grow the game and support. Clubs in other regions can expect similar opportunities in the coming seasons, while we would also welcome their input and ideas on how we can work better together for the good of the game in the east of Scotland.”