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Edinburgh Rugby fired up by capital extension

Guinness PRO12 Editor

20 Oct 2011

Edinburgh Rugby were today celebrating securing the contract extensions of three frontline players considered key to the future of the club.

David Denton and Stuart McInally, both 21, and 24-year-old Steven Turnbull all put pen to paper on deals that will keep them at Murrayfield until 2014; the news follows the recent contract extension of captain, Greig Laidlaw.
Edinburgh Rugby head coach Michael Bradley, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve retained the services of these three big, dynamic, physical forwards for two years beyond this season.

“All three have Edinburgh Rugby in their hearts. They want the club to develop and win trophies and that’s a key ingredient for me. They’re young players and, when you add their names to that of Greig [Laidlaw] who extended earlier in the season, you can see a degree of shape forming for the future of Edinburgh Rugby.

“Dave [Denton] is a young man that sees his future at Edinburgh Rugby. As a ball carrier he’s very dynamic and very strong. Physically he’s a big unit and gives us a lot of go-forward.

“Stuart McInally is another good ball carrier, not as big as Dave, but is a very skilful player with some nice subtle touches around the edges. He’s played together with Dave for Scotland under-20 and it’s a good feeling as a player when friends are contracted for a period of time.

“Steven Turnbull is another big unit like Dave, his job is in the engine room, in the second-row, and he’s passionate about Edinburgh Rugby. He brings a lot of physicality at 119kg and it’s important that we retain that kind of bulk in our pack.

“Securing these players gives us more long-term stability which is very important at a club that wants to compete at the highest level, but that stability has to come from players who have quality and we believe that these players have those qualities to drive the club forward.”

David Denton is an exceptionally promising young player who is built to carry ball. The big back-row signed for Edinburgh Rugby last season on the back of a succession of compelling performances for the Scotland under-20 team during their 2010 Six Nations campaign.

Denton then travelled to Las Vegas with the Scotland 7s team, where he helped them lift the Bowl trophy, before returning to put in a string of impressive displays for the capital club.

These performances earned the 21-year-old selection in the provisional RWC squad and his first Scotland cap as a replacement in the nation’s 10-6 victory over Ireland (10-6) in the 2011 EMC Tests.

For followers of Scotland’s age-grade matches and players, former George Watson's College pupil, Stuart McInally, is a number eight that needs no introduction.

McInally, also 21, is a player held in high regard by the Edinburgh Rugby coaching team and all those he has represented in his journey as captain through every Scotland age-grade on his way to becoming the most capped Scotland under-20 player in history, while he has also showcased his versatility in rugby sevens on the world stage.

Lock Steven Turnbull debuted for Edinburgh Rugby five years ago as a 20-year-old replacement and joined Edinburgh Rugby as a full-time professional two years later in 2008.

Like McInally, Turnbull forged his rugby development in the national academy and representative age-grade programme.

Recent performances have seen the lofty lock grasp the opportunity to become an ever-present in the boiler room and, with his best years ahead of him, Turnbull now has the opportunity to cement his place in the centre of the Edinburgh Rugby pack.