Scotland cap Dougie Fife is one of eight players who are exiting Edinburgh’s squad as the capital club complete their Guinness PRO12 season against Cardiff Blues at BT Murrayfield on Saturday.
Only a year ago Fife scored the only try of the game for Scotland in Paris in the RBS 6 Nations but the 25-year-old has not been given new terms at Edinburgh after falling out of the regular starting XV this season.
Fife, an Edinburgh native and formerly of the Currie club, has played 81 times for the club and has won six caps for his country. He is one of eight new names revealed as leaving Murrayfield in the summer.
Another Scotland cap, full-back Jack Cuthbert, is leaving after agreeing terms with English Championship club Jersey, while contracts of veteran centre Andries Strauss, back-up stand-off Jade Te Rure, Tongan wing Otulea Katoa, and utility back Nick McLennan have not been renewed.
Prop Grant Shiells is also leaving while Alex Toolis, twin brother of regular first choice lock Ben, has secured an opportunity to play Super Rugby in Australia.
In all 15 players are leaving or have already left the club. Scotland international No 8 David Denton was allowed to leave after the World Cup when Bath bought out his existing contract, followed last month by Grieg Tonks, who joined London Irish.
It’s already been announced centre Matt Scott is joining Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership for next year while club captain Mike Coman (London Irish), prop John Andress (Munster), centre Sam Beard (Dragons) are all moving on, while popular back rower Roddy Grant was forced into retirement by injury.
Edinburgh still retain a slim hope of qualifying for the top six and a place in the European Champions Cup if they can beat the Blues and other results fall in their favour, but hooker Stuart McInally said that even if they fail to make that target progress has been made.
“We can finish anywhere from sixth to ninth,” he said. “The overall quality has gone up and if we hadn’t been improving we’d be dropping in the league.
“When Alan (Solomons) came in he had to strip back and we’ve just been building year-on-year. We have finished in eighth the last couple of years and you can argue from an outsider’s perspective that things are the same, but we know ourselves we’re improving every year and we have the motivation to get better.
“We’re positive about next year, we’re losing some players but we’ve recruited well and it’s pleasing to see Scottish talent coming through. The coaches have all signed on as well so we have that continuity you need and I’m really excited about where we’re going next year.”