Ross Rennie is keeping options open about a return to Edinburgh Rugby when a loan spell at Bristol expires shortly.
The 20-times capped flanker has been an instant success with five tries in as many starts for a club at which former Edinburgh and Scotland coach Andy Robinson is now director of rugby.
The latest touchdown came in a weekend win over Rotherham and the fact Rennie was named “man of the match” has fuelled speculation that he will remain in the English west country beyond this season.
What Rennie, 27, is clear about is how much he enjoys working with Robinson, who was capped by England in the same open-side flanker position.
“I got a lot out of working with Andy and he likes to play an ambitious style of rugby.
“I might be one of the smaller No.7s, but I enjoy playing energetically and Andy seems to be able to get the best out of me.
“It’s enjoyable rugby to play in and it’s a wonderful place to play. Bristol’s been great and the support here is phenomenal”, Rennie has told the Rugby Paper.
That respect is reciprocated, with fan forums buzzing with praise for Rennie, the popular description being “classy”, while Andy Robinson is exalted for bringing the player south.
Back in Edinburgh, the same forums express mounting concern that the player may be gone for good, especially as TV coverage of the Bristol-Rotherham match had commentators using phrases like “Edinburgh’s loss is Bristol’s gain”.
It is also being reported that Robinson could not believe his good fortune that the loan deal was agreed. Indeed, what made the Rennie loan-deal bizarre was the timing.
He may have been on the way back from injury and dealing with the death of his mum, but Rennie was included in the Scotland Six Nations squad ahead of the player who was keeping him out of the Edinburgh team, Roddy Grant.
Rennie makes is clear he’s up for a return to international reckoning at the drop of a hat, but also insists: “I’m genuinely only thinking about the next game with Bristol and playing the best I can.
“If I can do that and anything comes of it, then great. But I’m not one to ponder international selection, I’m just looking forward to getting more game-time here.
“I injured my shoulder in the autumn of 2012 and then had surgery last summer, so I was basically out for over a year.
“I only played a handful of games for Edinburgh before Christmas so when Andy Robinson got in touch it was great.
“I’d been at Edinburgh a long time and probably needed a change to revitalise me.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing for Bristol and I hope that’s going to continue.”
Just how long might the association continue especially as his Edinburgh contract expires in June?
“I’m not sure what’s going to happen right now. I love Edinburgh and I’m enjoying Bristol, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
“The important thing for me is to play more games and enjoy my rugby.”