Rugby: Yapp relishing challenge ahead of Edinburgh debut

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John YAPP is looking forward to appearing on a happy hunting ground when his home debut with Edinburgh Rugby finally arrives.

The 21-times capped Welsh prop, signed from Cardiff over the summer, has played internationally at Murrayfield twice – and come out a winner in both 2005 and 2009.

The 29-year-old said: “I’d gained a bit of a feeling for Edinburgh before moving up here. The 2005 visit with Wales was especially good as it was part of a Grand Slam campaign. I took a lot out of that experience and want to put it to good use with Edinburgh.

“It’s nice to get out of Wales and have a new challenge. I had been in Cardiff for ten years through the youth and under-21s. I was in the Cardiff side, aged 19, and the game has changed so much since.

“There was not too much emphasis on the scrum back then and I’ve seen the intensity of the game change particularly in the last three or four years.”

Yapp comes as part of a double-signing with former Cardiff and Wales colleague Richie Rees, who is expected to stake strong claims for the scrum-half spot following the departure of Mike Blair to Brive. And Yapp is convinced his long-time friend will justify the faith of coach Michael Bradley.

“I have known Richie Rees for quite a few years as we played for Wales under-21s together,” he said. “Richie has been playing well; he’s a lively scrum-half who brings a good tempo to the game. His service is good, he’s a good orchestrator with a good rugby brain. Hopefully he will bring a bit of flair and suit the way Edinburgh play.”

While Yapp would love to add to his representative honours, he insists priorities lie at club level. “It would be nice to get playing some good rugby and take each game as it comes. I will concentrate on my main job now which is giving my employers 100 per cent and, if things go well, who knows what can happen?”