Edinburgh sign Kiwi Phil Burleigh

Phil Burleigh. Pic: Getty

Phil Burleigh. Pic: Getty

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Edinburgh Rugby have once again looked to the Southern Hemisphere in adding to their squad with stand off/centre Phil Burleigh due to arrive shortly from the Dunedin-based Highlanders.

The 27-year-old has been signed on a two year deal and takes the number of Southern Hemisphere players in a 45 man squad to 15, not counting Argentinian Joaquin Dominguez.

First, though, Burleigh will have to come through the Super 15 campaign including an appearance tomorrow night for Highlanders at home to Chiefs when he starts on the bench.

In recent matches Burleigh has been used mostly in an impact role where he has been acquiring credits in several media reports.

Originally from Christchurch, Burleigh had to go to Bay of Plenty for provincial experience and after a short stint with the Chiefs he moved to Edinburgh’s twin city of Dunedin.

In total he has made 32 Super Rugby appearances.

In a statement issued by Edinburgh Rugby the player said: “I’m really excited about the new challenge at a proud club with growing ambition.

“I’ve spoken to Alan Solomons [head coach] who talked me through his vision and the squad for next season and it sounds like he’s building a good future for the club, moving towards competing further up the table and getting back into the European Rugby Champions Cup.

“I’m really looking forward to being part of that challenge and building for future success.”

Coach Solomons was quoted, saying: “Phil Burleigh is an experienced Super Rugby back.

“He is a very good player and comes very highly rated and regarded. He is a strong, physical, and intelligent player and that will be a big help to us.

“We’ve signed him primarily as a stand-off but he is also comfortable at 12 and 13, which is important, both in terms of intensifying squad competition and facilitating future rotation.”

One recent Otago Daily Times critique for Burleigh said: “very good impact upon his introduction, a nice break, a good offload and a well-placed grubber in behind.

“Was very influential in the comeback late in the game. 7 1/2 out of 10.”