Three to watch: Edinburgh

Max Chesterton
24 July 2018

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Last season Edinburgh Rugby showed huge signs of promise in the Guinness PRO14 – finishing third in Conference B behind eventual Grand Finalists Leinster and Scarlets.

Reaching the play-offs – Edinburgh bowed out of the competition at the quarter-final stage with a narrow 20-16 loss to Munster.

With 17 players leaving the club over the summer, head coach Richard Cockerill has been quick to react, drafting in ten new signings for the start of the 2018/19 Guinness PRO14 season.

And we’ve had a look at three of the key players to keep an eye on this year at the capital club ahead of the new Guinness PRO14 campaign.

John Barclay

Few signings will excite Edinburgh fans as much as the capture of Scotland captain John Barclay from Scarlets.

The 31-year-old back-rower brings a wealth of experience to Murrayfield after helping the Welsh side win the competition two years ago by beating Munster in the Final.

Hong Kong-born Barclay has 71 Scotland international caps to his name, scoring six tries for his country since making his debut in 2007, after breaking through the ranks at Glasgow Warriors.

However, Edinburgh fans will have to wait for the flanker’s debut as Barclay will be sidelined for the first few months of the season with a ruptured Achilles tendon sustained in last year’s Guinness PRO14 semi-final.

Henry Pyrgos

Edinburgh won’t be short of leaders next season with the capture of former Scotland captain Henry Pyrgos from Scottish rivals Glasgow Warriors.

After the loss of Sam Hidalgo-Clyne to Scarlets, scrum-half Pyrgos brings valuable talent as a handy goal-kicker and a shrewd master of the game.

The Dorchester-born Scotland international will bring strength in depth to a No.9 jersey also shared between the likes of Nathan Fowles and Sean Kennedy.

Scoring 114 points in eight years at Glasgow – Pyrgos arrives with a point to prove and a determination to lift a second career Guinness PRO14 title.

Matt Scott

After a successful two-year spell south of the border at Gloucester Rugby, Scotland international Matt Scott has returned to his first club Edinburgh.

The 27-year-old, who has 39 Scotland appearances to his name, will bring a game-breaking ability to Edinburgh’s attacking game after scoring 17 tries in 34 games for Gloucester.

Scott, who has recently returned from a three-month spell on the sidelines, should link up well with Mark Bennett of Juan Pablo Socino in midfield.

Having played just three international games since moving to England – he will be hoping to make an immediate impact and earn a return to Gregor Townsend’s international set-up.

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