THE Edinburgh squad would have preferred to play Glasgow at the DAM Health Stadium rather than BT Murrayfield next month, according to Hamish Watson, because they believe they have a greater home advantage there.

The match on 21 May doubles up as the last game of the regular URC season and as the second and final leg of the 1872 Cup. It is set to attract a crowd of around 25,000 to the national stadium, which is almost four times the capacity of the DAM Health.

But Watson, having played home games at Murrayfield for years before the move to the new ground at the start of the current campaign, believes that opposing teams find it too comfortable there. And he contrasted that with the fact that his team are unbeaten in competitive matches at their new venue.

“I remember before and after games you would get people taking pictures of the ground,” he said. “It was a bit of an occasion for them to play Edinburgh at Murrayfield in front of 5,000, while coming here [to the DAM Health] it feels like a proper club atmosphere. 

“We were all saying it’s a shame we don't have Glasgow here, to be honest. It’s great for the SRU, because we want to get as many fans in as possible, but we would have loved to have taken the hit and turned it down.

“We all know the record we have here. We have drawn one game and won the other six or seven, not including the European stuff. It’s a very tough place to come to, and when you speak to a few teams they haven't liked the experience here. We’ve played some great stuff.”

That unbeaten record, which includes victories over Brive, Pau and Bath in the Challenge Cup, came pretty close to being ended by Zebre last weekend. In the end, a weakened Edinburgh side scraped through, but Watson knows his team will have to be a lot sharper against Ulster in Saturday’s penultimate league fixture.

“It was a good wake-up call and shows even when we’re not on it we can grind out five points, which in the past we may not have done,” he said of the 29-26 win against the Italians. “Ulster are a very good team with a good set piece and they’re big physical boys. We will have to put a very good team out on the field and really front up.”