Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Changes afoot at Edinburgh

Edinburgh Rugby really are changing, not least in ditching the black and red synonymous with the club for the last decade and beyond. The club’s colours will return to the original palette of the Edinburgh district side which traditionally played in blue and white. There is also a flash of burnt orange, allegedly representing the burnt orange of volcanic Arthur’s Seat but really just because blue and orange are complementary colours, if you remember your school Art lessons.

The new club badge is of course inspired by Edinburgh Castle but also draws from the original district badge and the city’s flag and coat of arms. The only new addition to the crest is the year in which representative rugby was established in Edinburgh – 1872, while the word “Rugby” seems to have gone altogether. The new hashtag (got to have one) is #AlwaysEdinburgh so you can see the organisation are trying hard to put the focus right back on the city in a bid to win fans.

Not coincidentally, the new brand was launched on the day that the club’s planning application for a new playing venue was submitted to the City of Edinburgh Council.

The new ground will be based on “flexible” infrastructure which presumably means semi-permanent stands on at least some of the four sides and an intended capacity of up to 7,800. It is hoped that allowing other sports or teams to use the facility could help with the application. The transport links already in place at BT Murrayfield means the plan is less likely to cause disruption than the brief sojourn at Myreside. Residents local to Roseburn know the score…

Edinburgh will play home matches on the international pitch at BT Murrayfield for the coming season, with the aim of settling in to the new ground for the 2019/20 campaign.

30 Responses

  1. Good news on the stadium application. New logo looks like the brand logo for a construction company though.

    Who cares so long as we win some games!

  2. Is the castle in the logo going into or out of the page? Discuss.

    I can’t look at it without getting magic-eyed.

    Maybe the designer missed the class on optical illusions at art school

  3. Roseburn residents get 2 or 3 games in spring and 3 in the autumn. I suspect they might have an opinion about the additional 11 games over the season however the numbers are much reduced. Here’s hoping it goes ahead.

    1. Let’s face it Edinburgh have been playing there more often than not over the last decade although in an ideal world (for Edinburgh) the footfall is going to double from the level it is traditionally of around 3-4k.

      1. All I am saying is it looks like Roseburn is not the place to buy a property in the Capital, flood plain and floods of people. But a Planning Applications brings a public voice.

        Great result for Edinburgh Rugby if it comes off.

  4. A new ground beside Murrayfield is a good plan. Myreside just wasn’t right and the main stadium is far too big for all but the biggest Edinburgh games. In fact, Murrayfield is so big that I wonder whether there is scope for playing the really big Embra matches at Easter Road or Tynecastle if the playing surfaces are big enough and it doesn’t disrupt the playing and training programmes of the football clubs.
    I think the logo is uninspiring, but agree with FF that performances and playing success are much more important than a logo.

    1. Would be better if their was a logo of Richie Gray ripping a rabbit in half while Vern watches on.

  5. New stadium: superb news

    New logo: immensely uninspiring

    New colour palette: disgusting. Actually hard to think of two more garish and ill-fitting colours than dirty orange and purple.

    The latter two things have somewhat tempered the initial good news. Every silver lining has a cloud; the Scottish rugby mantra. Still, so long as they win…

    1. Had to laugh – someone with your forum name complaining something is garish . . .

    2. I think it’s more navy/dark blue. It’s a very similar colour scheme as the Denver Broncos in the NFL. Look up a complementary colour chart, orange and blue have long gone together, at least in the world of colour theory.

  6. I think the important thing here is that Edinburgh and Glasgow really start to build an independent identity, and identify with their city. Glasgow have already done this very well in recent years. It might seem trivial but things like the strip are important, not so much what colours it is, but that it is recognisable and identifiable. Both Glasgow and Edinburgh having predominantly black strips has not been the best way to do this. Whatever colour scheme it is, the strip should be something that people recognise immediately as Edinburgh. Think how recognisable football teams like Celtic, Rangers Hearts, Hibs, Dundee United are just by their strips. As I say, less important what the colours are than that they are recognisable.

    Whether the new logo is a bit simplistic or not, I do think Cockers et al are on the right track by emphasising the city, not just the rugby team. If the football teams can get a combined average attendance of close to 40,000 last season in a season with twice the home games, Edinburgh by creating a competitive side and emphasising an inclusive atmosphere that represents the city surely has huge room for growth.

    It is worth noting that Edinburgh and Glasgow are Scotland’s only professional sports teams that compete at the highest level with world class (or at least top drawer) players, you can go to Scotstoun and see the best, you can hardly say the same any more of Scotland’s football grounds. These teams have so much potential and it always stands out to me when there is a big game on the coming weekend and the average resident of the city could be forgiven for having no idea. Edinburgh and Glasgow should make themselves a focal point for the city’s sporting ambition and pride. Creating a clear identity that people can relate to is an important step in this.

    1. Completely agree! Our football league and international team are depressingly woeful. Rugby union is the way forward if we want to be regarded as an impressive sporting nation.

      1. I do think it is interesting that our football and rugby sides became woeful at pretty much the same time, probably coincidence but other than the current batch, Scottish rugby last decent side was the 5 nations in 1999, Scottish football’s last world cup was 1998 and last play-off was for Euro 2000. Perhaps suggestive that our sporting woes have been more due to societal issues than solely SRU or the SFA’s running of the game. Although the SFA is a total disgrace in my view but that is a side issue.

        It is potentially a key moment in Scottish sporting history right now though that we seem to be building a decent rugby infrastructure and have what appears to be a relatively good international side, at a time when the national sport has hardly produced a decent player in nearly 30 years. Our domestic game is being destroyed by monied foreign leagues and the standard domestic and international has never been lower. Other than Andy Murray has there been anything for fans of Scottish sport to shout about in the last 20 years? We don’t even have a halfway decent golfer. This really does in my view open up a unique historical opportunity to build rugby into a sport with a far greater presence. There is a Scottish public crying out for just some small part of the sporting success due them, build it and they will come.

        Just consider how popular rugby was in Ireland prior to their success in the last 20 years. If Scotland could win a couple of 6 nations titles or go on a run in the WC you would have kids up and down the country playing and watching the sport in areas where it has rarely had any presence.

  7. I see what people mean about the logo being simplistic – I think it looks like a building society logo, but I am sure it will look better on a jersey.

    The new stadium is a real boost for the club and I cannot wait until the start of the 2019/20 season as hopefully by then Edinburgh will have had a bit more success and more people will buy into the club a la Glasgow over the last few years.

    Burnt orange? Hmmmmm. Hopefully Macron will keep things simple regarding the design of the jerseys and keep it predominantly dark blue and white with just a tiny bit of orange – say at the collar and sleeves. Whatever happens, even as a Glasgow supporter I hope this does great things for Edinburgh rugby.

  8. Typical Edinburgh Rugby. Two steps forward, one step back. As a long standing supporter and season ticket holder, the decision to dump the strip is a kick in the teeth. Just shelled out for a shirt for my son and have previously bought a hat, scarf and hoodie for my wife. Now Mr Petrie decides to tarnish an otherwise very positive series of announcement with a complete rebranding.

    Surely the intention should have been to build on the existing fanbase and successes (admittedly limited) of the club, not alienate those who have stuck by the club through thick and thin. No idea how playing in blue will make any difference. Surely only causes confusion with the Scotland team and Leinster for that matter.

    Add in fact that the club will be back in the dust bowl of Murrayfield for another year – this all comes over as a guddle. Those running the club should’ve just swallowed their pride and put their grievances with George Watson’s to one side, to stay at Myreside for one last season.

    Could have been worse – could have been rebranded Edinburgh Elaphants.

    1. Perhaps they could retain black and red for the away kit. Would be a nice touch and not make all the current replica shirts and merchandise obselete.

      1. It’s the mindset of that worries me. A rebranding exercise is not going to make one jot of positive difference. Building on the success of last season will. The fact that Jon Petrie and co are making such a deal of the rebranding as a component of future success is worrying in itself. The marketing/ design consultancy fees should have been spent on player resources e.g. keeping SHC at the club.

        All this chopping and changing only helps to confuse the Edinburgh public and sever ties with the established fam base.

        Black and red are the colours of the city flag and were quite classy. Made complete sense. Don’t see how blue will make the team more attractive to the people of Edinburgh. Screams of desperation to me.

        Hopefully the new fan forum will take up arms over the matter. Although worried by the fact that website already rebranded. Not exactly showing the fan involvement that they otherwise profess.

    2. LD, I think the issue is that you’re not the target audience. You’re clearly one of the hardy and dedicated fans who already go along to home games and although I’m sure Mr Petrie et al would not want to completely hack you off, my guess would be that it’s the other 490k people in Edinburgh who don’t currently attend matches that they’re targeting with this change. Clearly the marketers think that hailing back to Edinburgh’s past colours is a way to achieve that.

      Edinburgh have made a huge amount of progress on the field with Cockers this year and that will hopefully continue but in order to build a strong club feel it takes a sense of identity as well and I guess that’s what the aim is.

      Success on the field + a sense of club identity = growing gate numbers

      Al Kellock and Sean Lineen both joined Glasgow and set out to create that sense of ‘club’ in 2006. How long did it take to truly bear fruit? You could easily argue it was 6 years or even 9! The average attendance in the 13/14 season was only 5229 although it had risen to 6950 in 16/17.

      I could easily see Mr Petrie et al looking at this kind of timeframe For success with this move.

      1. And how is playing in blue going to build success on the field or grow a sense of identity? They should be building from the existing fanbase; not cheesing them off.

      2. Little Discourage the issue is that they are looking to capture fresh crowds so a change can be good and catch the eye, it’s not really somthing the old farts who cant stand change will like however.

  9. 7,800 is not enough for a capacity I think they should be looking at 10,000 as a minimum

    Unless they have future proofed to increase capacity, I can see this being an issue. I don’t think its too much of a leap of faith to think this current team couldn’t regularly sell out – If you look across the M8 and said to Glasgow what their ideal capacity for Scotstoun would be, I reckon they would feel comfortable with somewhere between 11 – 13 thousand knowing that they would sell out the Edinburgh, Leinster, Ulster & European games and go somewhere in between for all the other fixtures. With a blank canvas there is absolutely no reason why Edinburgh shouldn’t be as bold to think the same.

    1. Sorry Martin, but the attendances for Edinburgh home matches have rarely broken the 4,000 mark let alone 7,800. The average is improving gradually but not enough to warrant a capacity of over 10,000. As it is there wouldn’t have been sell-outs (7,800+) for more than a handful of games (1872 cup matches and the euro challenge final), and they were played at Murrayfield anyway!
      If Edinburgh were getting 10,000+ crowds to the majority of games there wouldn’t be a need to move.

      1. What are you sorry for Merlot ?

        I think what he means is the stadium having to potential to increase its capacity to 10,000 should Edinburgh start regularly selling out around 7000, I would preferably like to have it capped to 5 thousand this coming season but with potential over the coming 5 years to increase it to 15,000 for european semi-finals and the like should it ever happen.

        What numbers of attendance this season would yous consider a sucsess btw ? I would be happy just to have over 3500 consistently for our smaller games and by end of season pushing for 4250-4500

  10. I don’t see the fuss about the logo and strip changing. It’s just a strip. Can still wear the old one with pride if you’ve forked out. The new logo is a bit meh but the colour scheme is decent. If the on-field performance is improved then the the off-field semantics won’t seem important.

    Great news about the stadium.

  11. Interesting new signing for Edinburgh of Nayalo from London Irish. Thoughts?

    The first line in the Scotsman’s article about the signing raises major concerns though:

    ‘Edinburgh Rugby have announced the signing of Fijian flanker Senitiki Nayalo on a two-year-old.’

    1. This guy is just squad filler due to Barclays injury. I expect he’ll hardly play.

      1. A 2-year contract for a squad filler who’ll hardly play would be surprising, wouldn’t it? Doesn’t it suggest a bigger role?

      2. Well he wasn’t even in first choice team for LI, so if he is anything other than last line back up it would be pretty surprising.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion