Edinburgh Rugby seeking to build new stadium

Edinburgh Rugby is exploring the possibility of building a new stadium next to BT Murrayfield stadium.

It is understood the club are looking to construct a 7,000 seat “mini-Murrayfield” on the training pitches next to the home of Scottish rugby.

The capital side have been in search for a permanent home for some time. Temporary stadiums used by the club have included Murrayfield, Meadowbank and their current location Myreside.

Scottish Rugby has seen interest rise in the past year with the national side fortunes improving on the pitch. Myreside stadium holds a max-capacity of 5,500 with temporary stands being used for Edinburgh Rugby games.  Any increase in match attendances would force the SRU to invest in improving facilities at Myreside to accommodate fans.

Fans have been calling for the team to move to a permanent stadium to build a strong base and would likely appeal to rugby fans living in the east of Scotland. Editor of Scrum Magazine, Stuart MacLennan believes the proposal would be a good step:

“I think it would be of great benefit to the club and the surrounding area. Every sporting club wants their own home and this could help build a culture.  I don’t think it’s ideal that they play at Myreside and it’s much better alternative.”

Many issues stand in the way of the proposals that could prevent the move going ahead. Miller Developments owns part of the SRU’s land and would likely need to be consulted before constructions plans could take place.  The Murrayfield ice rink and Murrayfield Wanderers’ Clubhouse is also on the site.

It is understood that any objections to the move could put a timespan of up to five years before proposals can be approved. Plans are believed to be at an early stage with no application for planning yet been made.

No precise details have been revealed about costs but it is understood a new stadium would cost in excess of £10 million. Stuart MacLennan suggests costs could be an issue for the club:

“I do not know how it would be financed. If they can utilise for things other than rugby then that might help.  They would have to install a 3G pitch so other organisations could use it all year-round.”

A similar concept exists in Cardiff where the 13,000-capacity BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park is situated next to the Principality Stadium – the home of Welsh rugby.

Edinburgh Rugby officials refused to comment on the speculation.

New Zealand great Lomu dies at 40

Rugby legend Jonah Lomu has died at the age of 40, it has been confirmed.

Lomu, regarded by many as one of the game’s all-time greats, scored 37 tries in 63 appearances for New Zealand between 1994 and 2002.

However, he was diagnosed with a serious kidney condition in 1996 which eventually forced him to quit the game. In 2004 he underwent a kidney transplant.

Lomu returned to the game following the procedure and made ten appearances for the Cardiff Blues in 2005 and 2006, but he continued to suffer ill health and in 2011 the replacement kidney failed.

The winger made his international debut against France in 1994 and went on to enjoy a stellar career including appearances at two World Cups.

Lomu is fondly remembered for his performance against England in the 1995 World Cup semi-final and is the joint-highest try scorer in the tournament’s history alongside South Africa’s Bryan Habana.

Tributes have poured in from the rugby world, with former All Blacks captain Sean Fitzpatrick tweeting:

“Our thoughts are with the Jonah Lomu family tonight. A very special person.”

World Cup winner Dan Carter added:

“I still can’t believe the sad news. Love and thoughts go out to Jonah’s family.”

New Zealand Rugby’s chief executive Steve Tew said:

“Jonah was a legend of our game and loved by his many fans both here and around the world.

“We’re lost for words and our heartfelt sympathies go out to Jonah’s family.”

Scotland legend Gavin Hastings, who played against Lomu, told EN4 News’ Scott Thomson that the New Zealander will be sadly missed.

He said: “I speak on behalf of all rugby followers that Jonah was the most wonderful player.

“I was lucky enough to know him pretty well. He was a real gentleman off the field and probably the most famous rugby player there has ever been.”

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