Richard Cockerill knows that at the end of the season he will have to fight to hang on to a lot of his leading players who are out of contract in Edinburgh – but says no one has yet jumped ship.
The transfer to Worcester Warriors on the weekend was linked to Duhan van der Merwe, while the contracts of winger Darcy Graham, full-back Blair Kinghorn and flankers Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson also expire.
“As with all of our players whose contracts are expiring and who we want to keep, we’re having conversations and we’re not commenting on speculation,” Cockerill said.
“There will be a lot of people interested in certain players because they are very good players. There will always be speculation, especially with players of this quality. But at this stage there is nothing to report.”
Last week, the Scottish Rugby Union secured a £ 20 million government support package and has now received £ 17.8 million from private equity group CVC Partners as part of its share of the sale of a 28 percent stake in Guinness PRO14, but the finances of the federation remain on shaky ground, meaning Cockerill does not expect a significant rise in its budget anytime soon.
I think all clubs are in the same boat, right? Everybody has to manage their finances, and we are trying to ensure that we look after soccer as a whole as a governing body, not just professional sport,”I think all clubs are in the same boat, right? Everybody has to get their finances under control, and as a governing body we’re trying to make sure we look after soccer as a whole, not just professional sport,”
Some clubs are in a better position in England than others, so some agents want to wait and see, and some players want to wait and see what the future English market is like.
No one knows what the economy would look like, actually. The market is still going to be really high for some players in key positions.
In order to keep our team together and keep our players at Edinburgh Rugby, we will keep all lines of communication open and do our best.
At the moment, it’s a bit of a shifting feast in terms of what’s going on, so you have to be a bit versatile and a bit careful. We work as best we can for all of the players to hold the team together and keep our best players in Scotland.
“We want to be competitive as an Edinburgh team. The guys want to play for their country and this is a good place to play for Scotland.”