Edinburgh Rugby’s new plastic pitch is a far cry from muddy Malleny for Luke Crosbie
Luke Crosbie knows a thing or two about muddy pitches having cut his teeth playing club rugby with Livingston and Currie. So moving to Edinburgh’s new stadium with its pristine artificial playing surface has been something of a culture shock for the back-row forward.
The pro team have begun training at the ground but won’t play matches there until fans are allowed back into games.
The £5.7 million stadium is Edinburgh’s first dedicated home ground after a nomadic existence and Crosbie has already grown to like it.
“It’s a really good pitch,” he said. “It’s a great surface for the way we want to play, utilising our backs and the dynamic forwards that we have. I feel like it’s really going to work in our favour.
“Training on it this week and last week has been really good. Just getting used to it. And from the fans’ perspective, the seating is really close to the bench, so everyone is going to be more involved compared to Murrayfield, where there’s a slight gap.”
It’s a far cry from Currie’s Malleny Park which has a reputation for being one of Scottish rugby’s muddier tracks.
“It’s the completely opposite,” laughed Crosbie. “I’ve grown up playing in a swamp and now you’re on a nice fancy pitch - there’s a bit of a change.”
He thinks it will help Edinburgh play a faster brand of rugby and suit his own game.
“Part of my game is using my speed and getting across the pitch, so it’s going to be in my favour,” he said. “And across the board, helping us play quicker, it’s shown a different side to our game, that we can really attack and defend a lot better getting off the line. So we’re excited for our first game on it.”
Growing up in Livingston as an Edinburgh supporter, Crosbie takes a special pride in the new stadium.
“Coming from outside Edinburgh, from a school where we never played rugby, working my way in: now I play professional rugby and my home club has got a new stadium. As it’s the team I supported it’s pretty special to me - it’s really motivated me to keep working hard.”