Edinburgh Rugby today confirmed that scrum-half and captain Greig Laidlaw will leave the club to join English Premiership side Gloucester at the end of the season.
The Borderer signed in the summer of 2006 as understudy to Mike Blair before going on to take a firm grasp of the number nine jersey and captaincy, which he has held for three seasons.
In the past seven years the 28 year-old has made 136 appearances for the club and earned 27 caps for his country to date, and leaves to continue a tradition of Scottish scrum-halves at the west country club that has included Bryan Redpath and Rory Lawson.
Greig Laidlaw, said: “I’d like to thank everyone involved in Edinburgh Rugby for their support over seven fantastic seasons at Murrayfield.
“I’ve taken great pride from playing and captaining the team in some memorable matches, something which I’ll never forget.
Naturally I’m excited about the next chapter of my career however my focus is completely on putting my best rugby into the RBS 6 Nations championship and delivering a strong finish for Edinburgh Rugby in the RaboDirect PRO12.”
-- Scrum-half, Greig Laidlaw
Despite Laidlaw’s departure the club are anticipating heightened competition in the position, with a promising set of Scottish scrum-halves waiting in the wings.
Scotland A capped pair Sean Kennedy (22) and Grayson Hart (25) [pictured below] – who started the club's away win over Gloucester in the Heineken Cup and scored twice in Friday's win over Ospreys – and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (20) have all impressed in the position this season, with the window of opportunity now wide open.
Edinburgh Rugby head coach Alan Solomons, said: “Greig [Laidlaw] has made a great contribution this season, both as a captain and as a player, but I also understand he feels that, at this time in his career, something new and fresh will be good for him.
Greig has been fantastic for us but this move clearly opens the door for the three quality young Scottish scrum-halves that we have at the club.
-- Edinburgh Rugby head coach Alan Solomons
“He goes absolutely with our blessing. We wish him well and we thank him for the terrific contribution he has made to the club."