Gifted teenager Blair Kinghorn agrees new Edinburgh deal
Edinburgh have secured another of their talented youngsters on a new contract after 19-year-old full-back Blair Kinghorn agreed a two-year deal that will keep him at the club until May 2019.
The news came a day after 21-year-old flanker Magnus Bradbury, who made his Scotland debut against Argentina last month, committed himself to Edinburgh until 2020.
Kinghorn joined on a two-year deal in summer 2015 after impressing at the World Rugby Under-20 Championships that year. He enjoyed a breakthrough season fresh out of school last term and now has 28 appearances to his name.
Along with Bradbury he is seen as one of Scottish rugby’s shining young lights, with a possible future at stand-off, and he said: “I’m really looking forward to the next couple of years and contributing to the team as we look to get to where we want to be. This club is a great place with a good bunch of guys involved and a great squad, who for the past couple of seasons have been getting and better.
“I was delighted when I was offered a new deal, so I’m happy that I’m staying here and looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead.”
Edinburgh acting Duncan Hodge said: “We’re delighted to have secured Blair – a young, Scottish talent – at the club for another two seasons. Blair is maturing and fully understands the work ethic needed on and off the field to succeed.
“There are many areas for Blair to keep progressing, but he is striving to better himself and we look forward to him benefitting the club in years to come.”
Bradbury, meanwhile, says Edinburgh have targeted Boxing Day’s 1872 Cup clash with Glasgow as the perfect occasion to kickstart their stuttering season.
Edinburgh are down in tenth in the PRO12 and have been in the shadow of their more successful rivals from the west for some years now but have got the better of the former champions in the past two seasons.
Hodge’s side are determined to maintain that trend and Bradbury said: “At times we have let ourselves down this season but this is a game we have earmarked to get ourselves back on track.”
Both Bradbury and Kinghorn are now looking forward to their first tastes of the inter-city derby and the blindside added: “From watching it the last couple of years and watching it growing, it is probably the most physical game of the year for us. I don’t know what it is but both teams seem to up the intensity and physicality for this game, it will be exciting to see how that goes.”
Bradbury is delighted to have his future clarified heading into a new year that holds plenty of promise for the talented young forward. “It has been good to get my contract sorted out, and to get a three-year one as well.”
At the age of 26, wing Tom Brown could hardly be called an elder statesman, though compared with Kinghorn and Bradbury he is approaching that status and will make his 100th appearance for his hometown club on Monday.
The Glasgow clash will be the last home game until next year’s move to Myreside on a trial basis with a view to making the enhanced Watsonians ground a new and more atmospheric home.
“We have our last game out at Murrayfield and then we are off to Myreside in January and want a huge performance in front of a big crowd here,” said Brown.
“I am really looking forward going to Myreside. Edinburgh have been crying out for their own place to help give us our own identity ever since I have been in the academy a good six, seven eight years ago.
“Murrayfield has been great for us and is a lovely park to play on. But you look at some of the places we play away at. Scotstoun, over in Galway, down at Rodney Parade... these grounds have their own identity and are tough places to play.
“We want to create that atmosphere at Myreside and we can make it a fortress.”
While recent happy memories of Glasgow games mean Edinburgh will not fear their festive visitors, the Warriors’ sensational current form has focused minds.
“They are strong all round the park,” said Brown. “We have to stick our gameplan. We have to move them around the park and not play to their strengths. The boys know their roles and look forward with excitement to Monday.”