EDINBURGH forwards Ross Rennie and Stuart McInally will team up again with former coach Andy Robinson at Bristol, it was announced today.
The loan deals will run to the end of the season.
Rennie, 27, an openside flanker capped 20 times by Scotland and with 91 Edinburgh appearances under his belt, is re-establishing himself after two serious injuries while McInally, who has made 58 appearances for Edinburgh, is looking to use his time with Bristol to hone his skills as a hooker after being switched to that position last summer. The pair played for Edinburgh Accies last weekend in the B&I Cup.
McInally, a former Scotland age-grade captain, said: “I’ve got a strong ambition to play professional rugby for Edinburgh and international rugby for Scotland, so the opportunity to get regular game time at Bristol was something I jumped at.
“I’m looking forward to getting started and helping the club achieve a top-four finish in the Championship.”
Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons said: “We have agreed, on mutual grounds, to accept the loan of Ross Rennie and Stuart McInally to Bristol Rugby. Stuart’s loan spell will allow him to continue his development in a new position in a fiercely competitive, and often forward-dominated league.
“It has been a challenging couple of years for Ross, who recently returned from long-term knee and shoulder injuries. A fresh start will re-energise him.”
Rennie said: “Edinburgh is my home town and I love the club. It’s been my life for the last ten years but I think the time is right to have a new challenge.
“I know the direction Bristol want to go and the plans that Andy [Robinson] has, so it’s an exciting time to join the club. There’s an important few months coming up and I hope that I can contribute to the cause.”
Bristol are fourth in the IPA Greene King Championship, just three points behind leaders London Welsh.
Robinson said: “Ross is an extremely talented player with a superb work-rate and a drive to achieve. Ross has shown – repeatedly – at the very highest level that he can compete with the best open side flankers in the UK.
“Stuart has huge potential and that’s exemplified by over 50 caps for Edinburgh at 23 years old. He’s young and hungry to learn, so he’ll fit in well at Bristol.
“Hooker is a relatively new position for Stuart, but he’s adapted to the role quickly – that’s a sign of his versatility and professionalism.”