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Edinburgh: ( ) Newcastle Falcons: ( )

This moment has been a long time coming. One of so many frustrations of the last 18 months has been seeing Minified (or the Edinburgh Rugby Stadium, to give it its official name) gradually emerging on the back pitches, yet it has been tantalisingly out of reach.  A state of the art playing surface and a set of four surprisingly comfy stands have been waiting patiently for Covid lockdown measures to ease enough to permit the congregation in one place of 7,800 rabid Embra ultras. 

We are now at 'Beyond Level 0'.  I am not sure what that actually means, but I cannot adequately convey the joy I felt as we took our seats in the Main stand this afternoon, with the massed ranks of Jed-forest fans in the Riverside stand to our right, looking across to the hard core Embra tifosi in the Bill Lothian stand across the immaculate playing surface.  We have all really missed live rugby.

The new start also extended to the coaching team, where Richard Cockerill and Duncan Hodge's departure has opened up an opportunity for Edinburgh, Scotland and Lions legend Mike 'Blade' Blair to come home. Together with the backroom staff who remain, Cockers and Hodgey left a club that is in a better place than when they arrived, with a strong squad.  Yet they probably had taken the club as far as they could.  We look to Mike to build on the solid foundations with a more ambitious attack and the development of more youngsters.  It's good to have the old boy back.  As Super 6 has begun its first real season without too much disruption, with various Embramen seeing service in that competition, it feels like things are moving in the right direction.

In the first hit out in the Scottish Building Society pre-season series, against visiting Newcastle Falcons, Blade's charges ...


The Embramen have got off to a flyer on the pitch and off it.