Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Ben Healy Signs for Edinburgh

Ben Healy
Ben Healy - pic courtesy Edinburgh Rugby / URC

Edinburgh Rugby has today announced the signing of Munster stand-off Ben Healy who will join the club on a two-year deal ahead of next season. Scottish-qualified Healy has long been rumoured as a target for Scotland especially as he’s been stuck in something of a log-jam at standoff for both Munster and Ireland.

Healy, 23, will make the move to Edinburgh in the summer at the end of his current deal. The announcement does increase the chances of an early capture by Scotland coach Gregor Townsend. However as Healy is still young, Toony may wish to wait until the move is complete after the World Cup before doing that and also potentially calling time on the Kinghorn at 10 experiment that is, and was, expected to see Scotland through that tournament. As it stands, Kinghorn and Healy will be expecting to compete for the Edinburgh 10 shirt and potentially the Scotland 22 shirt in future years.

“Having played against them several times it’s clear how much they want to play. They’ve really developed their game under Mike and I believe that style will suit me. I’m looking forward to putting myself into a new environment and seeing how I go.

Ben Healy

The flame-haired playmaker (yes I went there) has a reputation as an excellent goal kicker, scoring 20 with the boot in one game against Edinburgh last season, a season in which he collected the Munster Academy Player of the Year award. The stand-off also started in Munster’s 28–14 win against a South Africa XV in Páirc Uí Chaoimh this past November, grabbing eight points with a 100% kicking record during their historic victory.

A product of Glenstal Abbey School and the Munster Academy, Healy also made his professional debut against Edinburgh in 2019.

41 Responses

  1. Good news, hopefully, he will give Kinghorn a serious challenge and they push each other on or see Kinghorn pushed to the Centres where I believe his skillset is better suited.

    I’d like to see a few more signings for next season.

    1. Murray Mccallum, Realistic chance to be first choice compared to a few years ago. (Nel retiring i’d imagine)

    2. Kiran McDonald (currently on loan and been highly praised at Munster), Pierce Phillips out.

    3. Jamie Dobie (for Edinburgh and Scotland), this guy is so talented and getting almost no game-time to push on. He would immediately be at least on the bench for Edinburgh regularly. Pyrgos retires.

    Potential team

    Boffelli – Graham – Bennett – Dean – Van Der Merwe – Healy – Vellacott – Mata – Crosbie – Ritchie – McDonald – Skinner – Mccallum – McInally – Schoeman

    Goosen – Kinghorn – Dobie – Watson – Gilchrist – De Bruin – Cherry – Venter

    1. Dobie is a great shout. Vellacott needs some genuine competition at Edinburgh. Shiel hasn’t kicked on (although hasn’t had that much gametime) and Pyrgos is done.

      There are too many good, young 2nd rows at Edinburgh to need McDonald. He’s more likely to get gametime at somewhere like Munster so I’m happy he stays there. A useful option in case of injuries for Scotland.

      McCallum idk. Really rated him when he broke through but just hasn’t ever been able to secure a run of starts. I’m doubtful of his ability to step up but he’s probably an upgrade on Edinburgh’s current options.

  2. Looks like he’ll be in the 6N squad given that Hastings is out through injury. Hopefully puts an end to the Blairswitch project at Edinburgh as well

    1. Correct and correct DesT, unquestionably need at least 2 international class kickers in the 23, Healy is a very welcome addition for Scotland and Edinburgh.

      1. Think if you have George Horne on the bench you’ve already got 2 class kickers.
        Kinghorn on the bench covers 10,11,14,15, and pretty decent at all of them (though not #1 in any).

      2. Right Merlot, Kinghorn on the bench allows for an actual centre in the 23 shirt whereas a more traditional 10 like say Healy means your 23 needs to cover probably the whole backline (ie a Kyle Steyn)

      3. I agree Kinghorn’s versatility is going to be invaluable for the RWC squad and he is a good impact player with his speed and ability to break the line. Healy has a great shot at the RWC squad as a replacement for Russell as he is a proper 10 and has better game management than Kinghorn. Also, he is a very good kicker with exceptional range so in a tight game could be brought on if we need a last gasp 3-pointer from somewhere. So, I guess it’ll be horses for courses for the bench – it’s not out of the question that we’d see a bench with them both on.

        Of course, Healy looks set for a 6N squad place with Hastings and Thompson injured but still has to take his chance to hold off the challenge of either of them for the RWC. I wouldn’t be surprised if Townsend tried to call up Finn Smith for the 6N too, although I understand he is currently out with concussion.

  3. I disagree.Surely Hastings long term injury means Scotland will definitely need Kinghorn as fly half back up,partularly with Ross thomson having been out injured most of the season? It would be very strange if Edinburgh moved him away from 10 this season.
    Looks like quite Healy could well be in the (Scotland) training squad as the 3rd fly half even though still with Munster until the end of the season.And of course could push Kinghorn for the bench spot though doesn’t give the extra versatility at FB and wing that Kinghorn offers.

    1. BK isn’t an all round 10 and is an average kicker, in an open broken game he is very good but his lack of a kicking game is a real negative.
      I’ve always thought capable of flashes of brilliance but not to be trusted.
      Defo Healy as back up 10 in 6N

  4. Interesting debate, I watched Healy last night- played well in atrocious Cork conditions, controlled the game when required, kicked very well.
    Having BK on bench (and yes he covers back 3 and 10) is still having your back up 10 as someone who isn’t an all round 10 and an average kicker.

  5. BK is ironically probably the first name in any squad selection now! Only then need 2 outright FH’s (Russell plus Healy or Hastings) and only 4 outright back 3 (Hogg, Graham, VdM, Steyn/Maitland). Means can pick that extra centre, back row or prop. BK definitely not fully accomplished at 10 but can be a good 3rd choice option. TH has been a concern for a few seasons now, really think Rae needs to be considered as there is a question mark over McCallums future and best position. Massive focus on breakdown training and how to keep possession starting now and think we have a squad who could – arguably should – deliver a better return. 2023 “positive thinking” resolution kicking in ……😀

    1. That’s the problem. I would never have BK near the squad. He is NOT international class or anywhere near it.

  6. Rob……..anyone watching the game today (against by far the worst team in the URC) would share your opinion (and mine) re BK. He’s not a bad player but today was a sort of microcosm (or whatever the word is) as to why we have such reticence re BK, poor kicking, poor options, nothing in attack . Ignoring the backs ensured the win

    1. Tbh I think the main takeaway from the last few weeks is that Blair wasn’t ready to step up to head coach (as he himself told the SRU), he had an encouraging start but is now struggling badly. He needs to right the ship by the end of the season. If not I’d hope the SRU is ruthless and lines up a replacement and finds another role for Blair. Head coach of one of only two professional domestic Scottish teams is not the place to learn on the job – we need outstanding coaches in all the top coaching positions in Scotland.

      1. I do think Injuries have exaggerated some of the coaching issues recently.

        For example, Edinburgh have suffered from poor lineouts in weeks past due to injuries to our Hookers and having to start a promising yet rough Patrick Harrison and an emergency import in Tom Cruise.

        Harry Patterson at FB made some crucial mistakes under the high ball in first start against Glasgow in a tight game (Happy to see he is now improving and looks to have good potential).

        It’s inevitable some of the backline play in particular will suffer when missing Hoyland, Immelman, Goosen, Van Der Merwe, Graham and Boffelli in your back 3 through injury.

        I do think Coaching needs to improve but we are not a million miles off when not decimated with injuries.

        I Saw also Blair was not allowed to select 4 or 5 players due to Scotland Rest Protocal which is clearly not what Edinburgh need right now.

      2. All sides struggle with injury problems – that is just modern rugby. The minimum is that no matter who takes the field the side is organised, motivated and difficult to beat. Edinburgh have clearly regressed and will do exceptionally well just to make the play offs. Blair needs to show he can handle his post by turning the situation around – they might miss out on the play offs from here, fine, but we can’t see many more performances like today’s without his days being numbered.

        My understanding is that it was Blair rather than Townsend who first suggested moving Kinghorn to 10, when he was Scotland assistant coach. I don’t think it was a bad idea at all and Kinghorn has played some good rugby at FH. That isn’t the reason for Edinburgh’s collapse in my view. This will be the making or breaking of Blair as Edinburgh’s head coach, I hope he turns it round.

  7. FF – interesting…….. from my latterly exiled Northumberland outpost it,initially, that MB was the man I reckon he’s been forced to play BK at 10…. also the kicking game of JVDW would be very handy but JVDW seems to be ‘gone’.
    So …… it appears to me there is a good team available but maybe needs an injection of pragmatism

  8. Tight game for Glasgow at the moment, Stormers appeared to be breathing hard the last play, hopefully Glasgow keep up the tempo and cause more gaps to appear.

    1. Outstanding result from Glasgow. They have 6 URC games remaining and they can realistically aim to win 5 if they keep their form up. A potential home quarter-final beckons!

  9. Must admit I was a bit underwhelmed when Glasgow appointed Franco Smith but the dark days of Danny Wilson seem like a distant memory. Franco has turned things around and today’s win was an excellent result in a game that could have gone either way.

  10. Agree with John Martin.Game of the season.Neither side deserved to lose but a great result for Scottish rugby with so many of those near the international 23 on brilliant form (Jones,Tuipolotu,Fagerson.Dempsey).
    Wonderful to watch-as I often said during Glasgow’s haydays of Russell,Hogg,Dunbar,Seymour etc looks like a different sport from that currently being played by Edinburgh!

  11. Ardent 100% agree, how can GT even think about having Harris in the 23 with Jones Tuipulotu Redpath and Bennett available? (and Steyn)
    Tuipulotu is starting to look world class.
    Thrilling fare throughout and again agree with Ardent re a different sport to what Edinburgh are serving up lately.
    Jordan made a couple of mistakes but that will make him a better player in the long run. He is a potentially excellent international.

    1. I have hade a smile on my face since Huw Jones walked on the pitch and it has been there all day. By far the classiest player ever to wear a Scottish jersey in the pro era. I don’t want him to join the Scotland squad, well not yet, not Townsend and Hoggs Squad. He just wont be Huw Jones anymore.

    2. Agreed, the distribution from Jones showed that he’s progressed from before and personally a centre pairing of Jones/Tuipolotu with Redpath or Harris on the bench would present a really good blend for different types of games.

      Of course, this now means that both have to be consistent performers but we now potentially have a centre pairing to be feared in the 6N and RWC.

      Which of course means that GT will pick Johnson/Harris as his centres :(

  12. Looking forward to seeing how Ross Thompson kicks on when he is fit and Franco gets his hands on him – seems to be getting the best form out of a lot of players.

  13. Whilst maybe too early, but purely as a result of the performances from Glasgow and what we have seen.

    In terms of team for England, I’d go with:

    Hogg, Steyn, Tuipolotu, Jones, van der Merwe, Russell, White, Dempsey, M. Fagerson, Ritchie, Skinner, R. Gray, Rae, Turner, Schoeman

    Subs: Bhatti, Ashman, Walker, J. Gray, Bayliss, Price, Kinghorn, Harris.

    Price to close out the game and Harris to organise the defence once we are ahead.

    The elephant in the room is that there is no real established 9 who is getting sufficient game time for Scotland to challenge Price (who is being usurped by Horne at his club). I see White, Horne and Vellacott as being equal in terms of ability and form but White as the incumbent gets the nod for me.

    1. Id say there is a pretty good chance we’ll see Healy and Cooney selected to add to that mix.

  14. No Z Fag, No Cummings, No Darge, No Gray, No Johnson, No McKay, No Manjezi, No Problem.
    That is new from Glasgow. That is impressive!!

    1. No Ross Thompson either. Who’d have thought at the start of the season that Tom Jordan would be starting FH and Glasgow on a 6-game winning streak???

      1. I really liked Ollie Smith interventions in glasgow’s first two trys. First try was good fast hands to get the ball outside the last defender and then the second try he just straightens and then releases the winger. Simple plays executed very well linking the play, not trying to do too much. Its exactly what Glasgow and Scotland need from their full back in attack.

      2. Ollie Smith reminds of Sean Maitland in some ways, Basics are good and he is quality in all aspects of the game. Does not look fast when running but has a good stride and side-step. Most importantly he is consistent.

        He might not reach the highs of Hoggs careers but he is a nice assuring factor for the backline.

        Only aspect i may like see him improve more is his kicking game, although this is not really Glasgows way so hard to know where he is at.

  15. Hogg hasn’t played last couple of weeks for Exeter due to injury (and 20 mins as a sub week before that).Any news on his injury?
    Smith would be a very acceptable substitute in my opinion (or Huw Jones if not wanted in the centre!)

  16. Glasgow vs Stormers: a magnificent game. Adventerous, ambitious, and FAST everywhere, with both sides offering excellent rugby entertainment. Glasgow played with intensity throughout and so deserved the win. This should be the template for the future of Scottish rugby.

  17. Bit slow here but didn’t know that Stuart Lancaster is to leave Leinster to become director of rugby at Racing 92 at the end of this season.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion