Edinburgh Eagles: The Scottish team with League 1 ambitions
The geographic spread of League 1 could grow even further if Edinburgh Eagles achieve their goals.
The Scottish club have hopes of becoming a semi-professional outfit in the future and join the likes of Cornwall, Midlands Hurricanes and North Wales Crusaders in the third.
While the ongoing discussions with IMG may yet change the dynamic of the professional game, a desire to make it work north of the border is encouraging.
Edinburgh Eagles harbour semi-professional ambitions
Edinburgh hooker Lewis Clarke was part of the Scotland World Cup squad.
He said: “We’re heading in the right direction. The main goal is to get into League 1 and make ourselves a semi-pro outfit.
“We’d need more participation and backing and it’s a bit of a journey, but we feel like if Midlands and Cornwall can do it, then why can’t we?
“We’re starting to break down that stigma against league, we’ve got our home base at the Royal High and we’re starting to benefit from a massive player pool in Edinburgh so there’s no reason it can’t be done.”
Edinburgh Eagles are in Challenge Cup action this weekend, when they welcome National Conference League side Saddleworth Rangers.
In recent years, they have played their league rugby in the North East League, winning both the league and cup since joining in 2019.
The Eagles still have a presence in the Scottish National League, playing alongside Strathmore Silverbacks, Forth Valley Vikings, Fife Lions and Glasgow RL.
But just as the likes of Nottingham Outlaws, Sherwood Wolf Hunt and Derby Elks from the Midlands have had to join the Yorkshire Men’s League to seek higher standard opposition, Edinburgh have done the same in the thriving north east set up.
Meanwhile, the Scotland national team hope to bounce back from their winless World Cup campaign last year in this autumn’s European Championship.
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