Chairman On Old Record And New Regime

Hastings: New era
Gavin Hastings congratulated Jonny Wilkinson after the England fly-half surpassed his World Cup record of 227 points last Saturday (6 October, 2007) and then outlined his next target; to take Edinburgh Rugby Club forward. Wilkinson's penalty during England's World Cup quarter final win against Australia saw him edge past Hastings" long-standing total. But former Lions and Scotland captain Hastings, who chalked up his tally in three World Cups (between 1987-1995), praised Wilkinson for reaching the career milestone and believes the record will be broken again in the future.

"Jonny Wilkinson is a pretty decent player to have broken my record and I"m pleased for him," Hastings admits. "I suppose it was always inevitable that somebody would break my record at some stage.

"I think he has had a very difficult time since the last World Cup, so for him to not only have a World Cup winner's medal, but also the most points is great. He is now setting a new target for somebody else to break.

"I"m proud that my record lasted three World Cups and who knows how long his will last? He is raising the bar for someone else to overtake that total and I"m sure at one point someone will eventually do that."

During his glory-laden playing career, he was famed for visualising goals and reaching them and Edinburgh-born Hastings plans to use that same skill-set in his new role of chairman of his hometown club.

'the fundamental aspiration for everybody associated with the club is to develop a team that is capable of reaching the latter stages of the Heineken Cup and the upper echelons of the Magners League," he stressed. "If I didn't think we were capable of doing that then I wouldn't have accepted the role of chairman.

"My feeling is that Edinburgh is one of the great European capital cities and it is important that we have a sporting team that represents the aspirations of the city.

'the city is a leader in so many things; the wonderful Festival and we"ve got a great tourism industry thriving in a beautiful city.

"I want to take Edinburgh onto the heights where people don't just associate the city with tourism and festivals, but also for sporting success as well.

After a summer of change, Hastings is adamant he plans to lay down solid foundations that will enable Edinburgh to flourish over coming seasons.

"In terms of my input and role at Edinburgh Rugby Club, my feeling is that we want to create stability from within the club to provide the right platform for the players to perform," he said.

"My mindset is that we are all in this together and I"m hoping we can bring in new rugby supporters who have not been involved in professional rugby in Scotland before."

The club's new kit will be available to buy at the Scottish Rugby Store/Greaves Sports at Murrayfield Stadium on Thursday, 11 October between 12.30pm and 1.30pm where fans" favourite Allan Jacobsen will be signing posters for every shirt bought.

Edinburgh's new emblem is something Hastings is very passionate about and he feels it symbolises the new era at the club._

"Interestingly Edinburgh Rugby Club has encountered a number of difficult challenges over the past few years," he said. "We all decided when Nic Cartwright (chief executive), Andy Robinson (head coach) and I came on board that it was time to draw a line under what has happened before and use that as a starting point for the new Edinburgh.

"It is up to this current group of players to create a legacy and for us to pull together. We are creating a new start and we have not been influenced by what has happened in the past.

"We"ve got clear heads and plenty of ambition to take the club forward. I am confident we have got the right management team in place and I"m looking forward to the challenges of the coming season."