Chairman On New Signings

ImageGavin Hastings welcomed summer signings Chris Paterson and Jim Hamilton to the club and revealed he believes Edinburgh will improve upon the achievements of the 2007/2008 campaign next season.

Edinburgh chairman Hastings, who joined the club in the summer, has watched the team exceed expectation levels and are now on course to record their best ever finish in the Magners League.

But the former Scotland and Lions captain is even more optimistic about Edinburgh's fortunes next season following the announcement that internationals Paterson and Hamilton will be heading to The Castle.

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Hastings said: "I think it is absolutely wonderful news; I think it shows that we are intent on improving and raising the bar.

"Andy (Robinson) has done an incredible job in year one and there are very encouraging signs about what Edinburgh supporters can come to expect from the team.

"We have been very competitive throughout this season and I would expect us to be even more competitive next season.

"Without meaning to get carried away with this season's results, I firmly believe we have laid the foundations for long term success.

'the players are developing into a genuine force and let us hope we can carry on. I think the two signings are wonderful additions and I hope the supporters acknowledge the level of ambition we have shown towards making Edinburgh a bigger and better team."

As a former Grand Slam winner, Hastings knows all about the importance of momentum in rugby and he says that particular trait is prevalent in the current Edinburgh camp.

He added: "I think we have generated an awful lot of momentum this season. Young guys like Nick De Luca and Ross Rennie have come in and shown a lot of confidence and really enjoyed their rugby.

'this enthusiasm has been well marshalled by Mike Blair at scrum half. I think the progress made so far has been terrific and we have got a great nucleus of players.

"But it is so important that we do not rest on our laurels. This season's success will count for nothing unless the team continues to progress.

"I"m looking forward to seeing Edinburgh again next season because I think we"ve got an awful lot to build on."

Hastings singled out head coach Andy Robinson for lavish praise and believes his influence has triggered off some outstanding form from the players.

He said: "I"ve got great confidence in the players. I think there is always this word belief which seems to pervade its way through rugby circles.

"My take on it is that Andy has given the players belief and confidence. There is no doubt there is a very good team spirit in the squad and that is shown when we win close matches like we did away from home.

'those results bring everyone much closer together. The players are a great bunch of people as well as being dedicated professionals and I have been very proud of everything they have achieved over the course of the season."