Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Edinburgh End of Season Leavers

Jack Cuthbert - pic © Al Ross
Jack Cuthbert - pic © Al Ross

Scotland wing Dougie Fife heads the list of players heading out of Edinburgh Rugby in the summer, while fellow cap Jack  Cuthbert and former Springbok tourist Andries Strauss will also leave the club.

The trio are part of eight players confirmed by the capital side as moving on this afternoon. The others heading for the exit door are full-back Nick McLennan, who has mainly been involved with Scotland 7s, ex-Bath prop Grant Shiells, stand-off Jade Te Rure and wing Otelea Katoa, part of the winning Melrose 7s squad.

Also leaving the club is lock Alex Toolis, who will return to his native Australia two years after moving to Edinburgh with twin Ben, who has gone on to become a Scotland international. Alex may yet harbour ambitions of lining up opposite his brother in a gold jersey.

Cuthbert, who won his only Test cap in a pre-Rugby World Cup warm-up fixture against Ireland in 2011, will move to English Championship side Jersey. Edinburgh have several promising full-backs on the books for next season including Blair Kinghorn and Glenn Bryce.

Fife is possibly the most surprising but has struggled to pin down a place with the emergence of Damien Hoyland and the current form of Tom Brown.

The eight join the already confirmed leavers, centres Matt Scott and Sam Beard, bound for Gloucester and Dragons respectively, and club captain Mike Coman.

Coman is unlikely to add to his 50 appearances in the black and red after being struck down with a calf injury on his last outing, but Scott is probable to make his final appearance against Cardiff Blues on Saturday. Interestingly, the club say he will be “relocating this summer”, which may cast some doubt over his move to London Irish previously announced after the Exiles’ relegation to the Championship.

Prop John Andress could also play his final game for the club at the weekend – he is returning to his native Ireland to play for Munster next season after more than 50 appearances for Edinburgh.

Reflecting on the departures announced today, Alan Solomons, the club’s head coach, said: “Everyone associated with the club, on and off the field, would like to wish all the players the very best for the future and thank them for their loyalty and commitment to the black and red over the years.”

They join the already departed David Denton (Bath) and Greig Tonks (London Irish), and the retired Roddy Grant in leaving the club this season.

13 Responses

  1. “Interestingly, the club say he will be “relocating this summer”, which may cast some doubt over his move to London Irish previously announced after the Exiles’ relegation to the Championship.”…i thought you said he was moving to Gloucester?

  2. I’d say Edinburgh are doing well for next season, Solomons has built a squad which is capable of giving any team in the Pro12 a good run for their money, the problem team for next season I think is going to be Glasgow as they gav quite simply been looking at next the next two seasons development from the perspective of 2014/15, this has meant that when players start to up sticks and move we neither have the money or the time to find suitable replacements so thereforeend up signing a below sub-standard player.

    1. Edinburgh finish 4th from bottom. I fail to see how they are any better equipped for the coming season than this time 12 months ago

      Would love to hear how they are but to me the Pro 12 is the measure of a club and Edinburgh has sadly continued to fail with this season being no different form the preceding ones

      1. Edinburgh’s end of season position is very disappointing. However, that one stat does hide a general improvement in performance, which I would argue does make this season different from preceding ones. Over the last three seasons games won have gone: 7, 10, 11. Points differences have gone: – 129, – 20, +39. League points have gone: 38, 48, 54. I would not normally say this, but Edinburgh have been a bit unlucky this season as regards their table position, which is largely due to the mid and upper table being unusually tight (there are only 9 league points between 5th and 9th, and Edinburgh are 28 (!!) league points above the team below them). The same general stats in another year would have ordinarily had them worrying the top 6. I would say Solomons has continued to progress the team, as is apparent in most stats, but he can’t control what has happened in the wider league.

      2. Edinburgh’s backs are by and large woeful so they’ll be struggling next year again unless Weir/Bryce can add some quality and SHC refinds his mojo. Still need at least one quality centre and winger though.

      3. I think Edinburgh should be a but ahead of where we are. First two seasons showed clear progression which has now stalled because we played most of the season without a natural 10 and because our back line has had no real sense of purpose. Can Solomons fix this? No idea, probably not but its clear the coaching team see the same issue by looking at who they’re bringing in. Glad next season will be Solomons’ last, either he’ll be handing over a team on an upward curve to a coach who can take them to the next level, or he will have given it his best shot and failed, and it’ll be time to move on anyway. I hope Edinburgh have a coach of so,e calibre to take over.

      4. After a relatively bright start Edinburgh did go backwards I felt after the derby games when more ruthless teams make a charge up the table. If next year isnt a top 6 finish & competing to get in the play-offs I think there will be changes in coaching staff. As mentioned it is the backs that lack quality but hopefully with Weir at stand off Burleigh will step up to the mark at centre (yet to be convinced). On a positive note I think Nasi Manu could be a big player next season but again that wont help improve the quality in the backline and for this reason I think there really needs to be at least 1 additional quality signing preferably SQF or failing that someone with longer term potential to the national team.

      5. Matto I get what you are saying but the bottom line is your position in the table. How all the other teams are playing and the points they are getting in the current year is exactly what it is all about

        For the last 2 years they have finished 8th and this year 9th. That is the only stat that matters at the end of the day and it’s a bad one

        We’ve spent too long celebrating games in recent years where Scotland lost (again) but oh we showed so much more promise than when we lost the last time for us to rationalise a backward step by Edinburgh as a sign of improvements to come

        If you don’t raise your expectations and demands then you are doomed to mediocrity. Even if your mediocrity is showing signs of improvement it is still mediocrity

        FYI I consider calling 9th place mediocre as generous

  3. Seems a shame that Alex Toolis is headed away, would have been quite something to have the Gray and Toolis brothers in the forwards.

  4. Anyone have news re the Sunday Times piece that Edinburgh will move to Myreside with temp stands to bring capacity to 6,000 in January with a view to a permanent arrangement – seems unlikely with school commitments and parking issues but I’d like to see it happen.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion