Hunter on the prowl to grab Edinburgh first-team slot

Gregor Hunter: eager to make mark in first team
Gregor Hunter: eager to make mark in first team
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Edinburgh Rugby’s Gregor Hunter intends taking inspiration from new cap Tom Brown heading into the Rabo Direct Pro 12 league starting on Saturday with a visit from Munster.

Stand off Hunter can draw on the experience of Brown who, a year ago, found his pathway blocked by established internationalist Chris Paterson.

Not only that but Brown’s five appearances for Edinburgh had all come from off the bench and it would have been long odds against him finishing the season with a Test victory over Australia down 

However, dedication and an abundance of skill saw Brown finish the season as Edinburgh’s No. 1 full back and also a fully fledged internationalist.

In the case of Hunter he finds himself understudying current Scotland stand off and Edinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw but giving him a run for his money is the challenge he intends to rise to.

“Tom has shown what can be done,” said Hunter who may be 18 months younger than Brown but enters the new season with five starts to his credit already plus a similar number of substitute appearances.

Added Hunter: “Greg is obviously playing really well but I can only control what I am doing and aim to give the coaches a selection headache.”

Hunter is enriched by a summer in New Zealand playing for Lincoln University under a Macphail Scholarship.

“I managed to play pretty much every week and regularly at No. 10 which is what I set out to do.

“Regular game-time meant I learned a lot about myself and definitely improved as a player.

“There was also a chance to note the different things New Zealanders do, their tactical awareness and so on. I also played in a club team that included Robbie Fruean when he wasn’t required by the Crusaders.”

In fact, centre Fruean is the 2007 IRB young player of the year having led the junior All Blacks to a world title and, with him alongside occasionally, Hunter, who has been assigned to Currie this season, can only have developed his skills.

“John Hagart, who has assisted Canterbury Crusaders, was one of my coaches which is another reason why I just wanted to get back for the start of this season and stake a claim early with Edinburgh,” said Hunter who was happy to minimise his summer break.