New Edinburgh deal gives Tom Brown goal of Scotland caps

Tom Brown
Tom Brown
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EDINBURGH wing Tom Brown is eyeing more caps for Scotland after agreeing a one-year extension to his contract with the Capital club.

The 25-year-old from North Berwick burst onto the scene alongside the likes of Matt Scott and David Denton and, after featuring in the run to the Heineken Cup semi-finals in 2012, he was rewarded later that year with a cap in the famous 9-6 win over Australia in Newcastle, New South Wales.

Injury has stalled his progress in recent years but he has made an excellent return to the Edinburgh team this season making 13 appearances, and is optimistic about the future.

“I’ve been five years at Edinburgh and in the last couple of years I’ve had some injuries which have come at bad times in the seasons which kept me out for long periods,” explained the former Edinburgh Academy pupil, who starts on the left wing in tonight’s Guinness Pro12 clash with Ospreys in Swansea. “It was difficult to work back into the squad. Anyone who has had an injury knows how hard it is to fight your way back in. We’re lucky to have great medical staff here.

“I’ve really enjoyed this year. It’s the first solid pre-season I’ve had for a while and I knew coming off the back of a World Cup there was always going to be opportunities. I took the early ones I was given and have really enjoyed my rugby.”

Brown sees no reason why he can’t add to that solitary Scotland cap.

“That’s part of agreeing another year here. I know the best chance of getting involved in the international set-up is being here in Edinburgh and in Scotland.

“In saying that my focus is on Edinburgh, that’s who I’ve signed the contract for and whatever happens off the back of that happens. I think next season is going to be an exciting one for this club.”

Solomons, meanwhile, believes Grant Gilchrist will need “two or three games” to get up to speed but admits the decision on when he returns to the Scotland fold will be made by national coach Vern Cotter.

The 25-year-old second-row forward returns to the Edinburgh bench tonight, having been out since September when he was forced off in Scotland’s World Cup pool match against the United States in Leeds.

If, as expected, he comes on in Swansea it will be his first appearance for Edinburgh since he broke his arm against Lyon in October 2014.

It has been a luckless couple of years for the Alloa man, with both those long-term injuries suffering complications, and Solomons hinted that his return would be gradual. “That is Vern’s decision. That’s his call,” said the coach when asked if Gilchrist could be promoted speedily into the Scotland set-up, with the third Six Nations match in Rome next Saturday. “For me, I couldn’t consider starting him [against Ospreys tonight].

“There is no way you could do that when a guy has been out for so long.

“My view is that it will take him two to three games to get back into it. I think we’ll see the best of him in about three games’ time.”

Scotland’s scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, who has been deputising national skipper Greig Laidlaw, could also get some much-needed game time after joining Gilchrist as a replacement.

Solomons has made four changes in total to the team that will start at the Liberty Stadium. Scrum-half Sean Kennedy and wing Dougie Fife are promoted from the bench, while Allan Dell moves into the loosehead prop berth for Rory Sutherland, who is with the Scotland Six Nations squad.

Jamie Ritchie moves to blindside in place of captain Mike Coman, who is ruled out with an injured calf.

It is Edinburgh’s second trip to Wales in as many weeks following last Friday’s 22-21 loss to Scarlets.

Scarlets: Dan Evans; Jeff Hassler, JJ Engelbrecht, Owen Watkin, Ben John; Sam Davies, Brendon Leonard (c); Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Ma’afu Fia, James King, Rory Thornton, Dan Lydiate, Sam Underhill, Dan Baker. Subs: Scott Otten, Gareth Thomas, Aaron Jarvis, Rynier Bernardo, Olly Cracknell, Tom Habberfield, Josh Matavesi, Eli Walker

Edinburgh: Greig Tonks; Dougie Fife, Michael Allen, Sam Beard, Tom Brown; Phil Burleigh, Sean Kennedy; Allan Dell, Neil Cochrane (c), John Andress, Anton Bresler, Ben Toolis, Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Cornell du Preez. Subs: George Turner, Grant Sheills, Simon Berghan, Grant Gilchrist, Magnus Bradbury, Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, Chris Dean, Blair Kinghorn