BY DARREN JOHNSTONE – CAPITAL CITY PRESS
HIBS are close to shaking hands on a ground-share agreement that will allow Edinburgh Rugby to use their Easter Road stadium next season.
Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dobson has confirmed that talks are taking place with the Leith outfit a view to using the 20,500 arena for a ‘couple’ of test matches.
The Pro 12 rugby team have been playing their matches at BT Murrayfield but the vast 67,800 stadium is regarded as unsuitable for their needs, with their average league home crowd for last season standing at 4,845.
Hibs will weigh up whether they believe the pitch can cope with hosting around 14 rugby matches, as well as football games, before deciding on a potential long-term arrangement with their capital counterparts.
Edinburgh rugby last used Easter Road, which played host to the international football friendly between Scotland and Qatar on Friday evening, in 1999 (when they were then known as Edinburgh Reivers) for Heineken Cup ties against Ebbw Vale and Toulouse.
Dobson said: “You see some leaks in the press about us talking to Hibernian about Easter Road.
“We’re closer to that than we have been for a while. Our hope would be that we can have a couple of games as a test with a view to moving there.
“We hope we can come to some sort of arrangement for the coming season. We can’t stay at Murrayfield for the longer term.”