Edinburgh's immediate release of Darryl Marfo 'in his best interests'

Rapid rise and fall of prop forward

Wednesday, 11th December 2019, 6:00 am
Darryl Marfo was capped three times by Scotland in the 2017 autumn Test series

The next chapter in the curious story of Darryl Marfo will unfold outside Scotland after it was confirmed yesterday that the loosehead prop has left Edinburgh with immediate effect.

Capped three times by Scotland in the 2017 autumn Test series, the Londoner who qualified through his mother from Ayr, has barely been seen since and made only 11 appearances for the team in total.

He has now been released and Edinburgh assistant coach Steve Lawrie said it was a mutually beneficial step.

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“For Marfs it is an opportunity,” said the deputy forwards coach. “We recognise that he has not had a lot of rugby, he plays in a position we have a lot of strength in, and it was just felt between the club and Darryl that it was best for him that he sought opportunities elsewhere.”

Marfo joined Edinburgh from Bath in the summer of 2017 and, during a front-row injury crisis, was thrust into the Test arena, making his debut against Samoa and then playing in the thrilling narrow loss to New Zealand and thumping win over Australia that November.

A club statement read: “Edinburgh Rugby can confirm that Darryl Marfo has now left the club with immediate effect.

“The move comes following a period in which Marfo, 29, has seen limited playing time and today’s decision is aimed at allowing the prop to find a new club.”

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill, said: “We thank Darryl for his hard work during his time at the club and we wish him all the best moving forward.”

Marfo, 29, had a self-admittedly rough upbringing in Pimlico before his talent at rugby provided him with a scholarship to the elite Pangbourne College as he pursued an academy contract with Harlequins.

A back injury led to a spell on the sidelines and the prop has never reached the heights of autumn 2017 since, although he was awarded a contract extension last year.

“I think that’s that nature of the beast sometimes,” continued Lawrie at the Oriam centre yesterday, where Edinburgh were shielding themselves from the dismal December weather ahead of the weekend’s European Challenge Cup clash with Wasps in Coventry.

“Selection is subjective, but it is objective sometimes as well, and… look, Darryl has trained really hard, he’s played really well when he’s had a chance as well – he had that great stint when he was in the national squad and played some of his best rugby – but it is

now just a case that it was in his best interests that he moves on.

“Jamie Bhatti is with us now and he has played really well. We’ve got Pierre Schoeman and Rory Sutherland, so we’ve got a lot of guys in that position who are performing as well, so I think it was just a decision for both parties that was best.”

Lawrie said veteran flanker John Barclay, who announced his international retirement last week and has been out with concussion, is in the frame for a comeback at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday.

“John is just undergoing the usual protocols,” said the assistant coach. “He’s being assessed by the medics there’s no real update on him at the minute. He’s got a chance for Saturday.

“He’s there or thereabouts.”

Now that he has called time on his distinguished international career, Barclay will of course, be a valuable asset to Edinburgh come the Six Nations period.

“It has been discussed,” said Lawrie. “John is an important part of our make-up, he brings a lot of experience to the squad – a former Scotland captain who has done a lot of things at the top end – so we recognise that particularly during that window when guys are away he is going to be an important figure hopefully.”

Lawrie admitted that a day training indoors at Heriot-Watt’s Riccarton campus was no bad thing.

“Looking at the weather forecast for the weekend, the weather down at the Ricoh is supposed to be alright. We made this change a couple of days ago as a contingency because it is a shocker.

“I said to a few of our South Africans: ‘would you rather be here or Pretoria?’ And they said, reluctantly, that they would rather be here. It [Oriam] is a good venue and helps us prepare properly.”