Edinburgh Rugby coach Alan Solomons is poised to blood one of the hottest forward prospects to emerge from the Scottish Premiership in recent seasons when the professional side kick off their campaign with a friendly against Leicester Tigers at Melrose on August 23.
It promises to be a baptism of fire for 6ft, 17st loosehead prop Rory Sutherland on the eve of his 22nd birthday, with Leicester capable of fielding the likes of Lion Dan Cole, Puma Marcos Ayerza and the 19 stone Tongan, Logovi’i Mulipola, on the opposite side of the front row.
However, Solomons is convinced by the 2013-14 Gala player of the year’s abilities and says: “Rory Sutherland is a guy who will get a shot early on.”
Solomons made it clear that if Sutherland takes his chance, the position could be his for years to come, with a full Scotland cap a not-too-distant dream. Injuries in the front row have contributed to opportunities at this stage.
Another to have been impressed has been Edinburgh forwards coach, Steve Scott, who said at the time of Sutherland being persuaded to give up a job as an engineer earlier this summer and commit to a full-time contract: “I have watched 18 club games this season and there has been a lot of work done in watching the best players coming through.
“Rory has a bright future ahead of him.
“Looseheads are important and we need back-up in that position.”
Melrose-born and Hawick- reared Sutherland has come through the Scotland Under-18 ranks alongside the likes of Stuart Hogg, Mark Bennett, Harry Leonard, George Turner and Robin Hislop.