Edinburgh coach in tribute to retiring Michael Tait

Michael Tait has not recovered sufficiently from a knee injury

Michael Tait has not recovered sufficiently from a knee injury

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Edinburgh Rugby coach Alan Solomons has paid tribute to centre Michael Tait who has been forced to call time on his professional career due to persistent injury.

The 24-year-old son of Alan, a cross-code rugby legend, joined Edinburgh from Newcastle during the summer but has been prevented from making an appearance to add to a couple made in 2013 while on loan.

“Michael is a really fine young man but has come to the realisation that with the injuries he has got he is not going to be able to make it through,” said Solomons.

“Nobody has worked harder. What he has got is a huge heart, a massive heart. We’ve seen that in the way he tried to get back.”

At the beginning of the season, Tait underwent knee surgery in what he described as a “cleaning out” exercise.

He bows out having made his mark at Scotland Under-20 level in the 2010 World Cup in Argentina but without fulfilling a dream to go on and emulate his dad at top level.

Speaking earlier this season when helping to promote a charity partnership for Edinburgh Rugby, Tait spoke exclusively to the Evening News about family support.

“Ever since I was five or six I watched my dad play,” he said. “He is my hero. I want to be like him and he is pushing me on.

“You try your best for your family and in tough times they are always there. I want to get back (playing) for them.”

Tait certainly had no shortage of positive influences, having spent formative years in Yorkshire while his dad was playing rugby league for Leeds en route to becoming a Lion on his return to Union.

“I remember going to games at Leeds which is where I first started watching rugby and the (top) league guys like Martin Offiah and Harvey Howard used to come round to my house,” said Tait.

He was certainly grateful that Solomons was prepared to give him an opportunity to regain full fitness.

“My whole career has been a bit unlucky with injuries but given this chance by Alan I just want to get the shirt on,” he said.