Long-term contract extension
Watson loyalty a timely boost for Edinburgh
Deal: Hamish Watson (pic: SNS Group)
Scotland international Hamish Watson has handed Edinburgh a timely boost with the signing of a new long-term contract.
The 29-year-old penned a deal which head coach Richard Cockerill said would keep him at the club for the “foreseeable future.”
His loyalty will provide a welcome lift for the PRO14 outfit after the departure of star winger Duhan van der Merwe to Worcester, and Gloucester tempting lock Andrew Davidson south to the Gallagher Premiership in recent days.
Manchester-born Watson has made 116 appearances for the club since he joined the academy aged 19 and has earned 36 caps for his country.
He said: “I have been at Edinburgh since I was 19, it really is home for me and my family. My two girls were born here and we’re so happy to be spending more of our lives here.
“I feel like we have both showed each other a great deal of loyalty. I love playing for Edinburgh. It means so much to me and, like I said last time round, I can’t see myself in another team’s jersey.
“I feel like the club has been, and is, heading in the right direction to win something over the next few years. That is what I believe this group of players is capable of and it would be great to do it for the club and the fans.”
I love playing for Edinburgh. It means so much to me and, like I said last time round, I can’t see myself in another team’s jersey. – Hamish Watson
The long-term contract extension could see Watson finish his career in the capital and Cockerill said: “This is really fantastic news for Edinburgh and a great statement on our plans for this squad for the seasons ahead.
“We’re delighted he’s staying – any coach would be happy to have him – and will continue to bring his relentless approach to rugby every time he takes to the field.
“He’s an incredible, world class athlete and rugby player and shows incredible commitment every time he takes to the field for club or country, but he also has a very good rugby brain.
“He’s a very popular and senior member of our player group and it’s great to have him committed to the club for the foreseeable future.”
South African-born Van der Merwe, 25, joined Edinburgh in 2017 and scored 31 tries in 64 appearances.
He is reported to have signed a deal worth £300,000 a season at Worcester, though his decision to quit Edinburgh after only qualifying for Scotland on residency last year, brought criticism from certain quarters.