Jonny Petrie: Edinburgh Rugby are a buying club

Edinburgh Rugby managing director Jonny Petrie. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU
Edinburgh Rugby managing director Jonny Petrie. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU
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And the former Scotland back-row also stated that although the club is still actively looking at options to move home matches away from BT Murrayfield, for now at least discussions with Hibernian regarding the use of Easter Road have stopped.

Petrie took over his role with the Guinness Pro12 club last summer and, in the last eight months, has been working hard behind the scenes to re-sign players as well as casting the net wide to try to get new faces in for the 2016/17 campaign.

He spoke to the media yesterday after it was announced that Scotland hooker Ross Ford had signed a new three-year deal with the club. Thirteen other current Edinburgh players have also signed up to new deals of late, and Scotland stand-off Duncan Weir will arrive from Glasgow Warriors in the summer.

However, the likes of David Denton and Greig Tonks have already departed and Matt Scott will also say take his leave in a few months.

Petrie said: “There has been a lot of work done already for next season. We have still got a fair way to go, but it has been good to get a lot of these contract renewals done. I am feeling pretty confident of where we are at, we are going to be in pretty reasonable shape going into next season and beyond.

“I am not going to put an exact number on how many new faces we want to bring in, but we know we need to freshen up the squad.

“I wouldn’t expect there to be rafts of new players coming in, but we will be very smart about who will recruit.

“That will be key for us to develop this team so we are as competitive as we possibly can be during the course of next year.”

The Edinburgh supporters are currently worried about the quality of players who will be brought into the set-up with the budgets available, but Petrie is still confident.

“The reality is that the markets in England and France have taken a step up over the past year particularly. That does make it a difficult operating environment.

“However, the Pro12 is a great competition, Edinburgh is a great city and we are a good developing team. That is an attractive proposition for players to come into. We are able to compete pretty well in the marketplace. Every club will be scouring the globe to get the right players to come in. We do not restrict ourselves to any particular location to look for players.

“We have got good scouting in place, the coaches work really hard to look at what is the key talent that is going to fit with us as a club.

“To be competitive we need to be very smart around what we do. We need to look at what we need as a playing squad rather than going for the big names – we will get some good people in.

“I do not see us as a selling club. We want to attract the top players and keep the other top players here – and that is demonstrated by the likes of Ross staying with us for another three years, which we are delighted about.”

Meanwhile, on Sunday when Edinburgh defeated the Scarlets 24-23 at Murrayfield the encounter was watched by just 3,618 supporters and Scottish Rugby and Petrie know the long-running stadium issue needs resolved.

“It has been no secret that we are looking at potential other venues. It is the reality of the situation that there has not been any readymade solution within the city for us to go to,” he said. “There have been conversations with Hibs regarding Easter Road, but that is not a live discussion at the minute, it is on the back burner.

“I am not ruling it out completely, but there are not currently any discussions going on. It is a focus for me to try and progress this and find the right solution for us.”

Edinburgh previously played matches at Easter Road in 1998/99.