In 1996 the Edinburgh District team was repackaged as Edinburgh Rugby – one of four Scottish district sides – in order to compete in the European Cup. After two seasons, Edinburgh merged with the Border Reivers to form Edinburgh Reivers. In 1998/9 the side played in the European Cup, Tri-Series and WRU Challenge Trophy. For the 1999 and 2000 seasons the Scottish Rugby Union and Welsh Rugby Union joined forces, with Edinburgh Reivers (and Glasgow Caledonians) playing in the Welsh-Scottish League.
Following the reduction of Scotland's professional structure to two sides, Edinburgh Reivers were renamed Edinburgh Rugby. The team found some success as they reached the inaugural Celtic Cup final on 20 December 2003 though were beaten by Ulster (27-12).
Domestically, in the RaboDirect PRO12, Edinburgh Rugby struggled for results in the 2011/12 season. The Heineken Cup campaign, on the other hand, proved to be the most successful in the club's history, and will live long in the memory of the club's fans. The club topped Pool 2 with five out of six wins including a remarkable home victory against Racing Métro (48-47) and a dramatic last-second drop-goal win over the Frenchmen in Paris which set up a quarter final-against French rugby giants Toulouse which was played before a new club record crowd of 38,887 at Murrayfield Stadium.
History was made that day in April when the club held out for a 19-14 win thanks to an early try from Mike Blair and penalties from captain Greig Laidlaw, to set up a semi-final in Dublin against Ulster (the first in history for a Scottish club side). Sadly the dream ended there when the club went down 22-19 at the Aviva Stadium.
In the summer of 2013 the big story to come out of Edinburgh Rugby was the appointment of experienced South African, Alan Solomons, to take the reins of the capital club. The former South Africa Assistant Coach had steered the Barbarians to wins over five top tier nations (England, Scotland, Wales, South Africa and New Zealand) and led clubs to silverware in both the northern and southern hemisphere.
Edinburgh Rugby’s vision is to build a sustainable club through the medium of the club’s academy, and to grow an inspirational and winning rugby culture for current and future Scottish rugby players.
For the 2014/15 season 71% of the club’s wider, 45-man squad are eligible to represent the nation today. Add the academy of elite development players (EDP) and this rises further still.
This approach will help build an increasingly successful team in the GUINESS PRO12 and European Cup, and thus grow the intense and competitive environment for the nation’s best, home-grown talent to develop and prosper.