The decision of HAMISH Watson to sign a new long-term deal to remain in Edinburgh at any time will be a major boost for the squad. Against the backdrop of the news that in the summer Duhan van der Merwe and Andrew Davidson will be transferring to English clubs, morale is especially critical – not just in Edinburgh, but as a whole in Scottish rugby.
Edinburgh yesterday morning confirmed Watson’s new deal, less than 24 hours after head coach Richard Cockerill promised that in the coming days and weeks a variety of “signings and new signings” will be forthcoming. As normal, the length of the 29-year-deal old’s was not listed, but it’s obvious Cockerill can count on Watson for at least a few more years as a cornerstone of his squad.
This is really wonderful news for Edinburgh and a great statement on our plans for the coming seasons for this squad,”This is really fantastic news for Edinburgh and a great statement on our plans for this squad for the coming seasons,” We are pleased that he is staying – any coach will be fortunate to have him – and every time he’s on the field, he will continue to bring his relentless approach to rugby.
He’s an outstanding world-class athlete and rugby player, and every time he’s on the field for club or country, he displays tremendous determination, but he also has a very strong rugby brain. He’s a very famous and experienced member of our playing group and it’s perfect for the near future to have him committed to the club.
Until moving to Edinburgh in 2011, Watson was born in Manchester and was a member of the Leicester Tigers’ academy. Yesterday, after a decade and 36 caps for Scotland, he stressed that he could not imagine playing for any other nation.
Since I was 19, I’ve been in Edinburgh – it’s really my home and the home of my family,” he said. “Both my girls were born here and we feel very grateful to be able to spend part of our lives here.
“I feel like we have a great loyalty to each other. I love playing for Edinburgh. It means so much to me, and as I said last time, I can’t imagine playing in another team’s jersey.”
That didn’t stop other clubs from imagining the striker in their colors, and it was linked to a return to England or to a move to France late last year. However, Watson claims that Edinburgh has the potential to go forward as part of a squad that has matured considerably since Cockerill took charge in 2017.
While the season has proved challenging so far, the striker believes the eventual opening of the so-called mini-Murrayfields as their home ground would be a significant move forward, with the team sitting fifth in PRO14 Conference B after finishing top last season.
He added, “I feel that the club was and is on the right track to win something in the next few years,” I think this group of players is capable of doing so and it will be fantastic for the club and the fans to do that.
Both of the players can’t wait to welcome the fans back to Covid’s new home. I can’t wait, personally, to see the fans again and begin this journey.
Watson was also part of the Scotland Sevens squad for a short time before signing a full-time contract with Edinburgh, in addition to being selected for the Scotland U19 and U20 national teams. For a time when the New Zealander signed after the 2015 Rugby World Cup, he was understudy to John Hardie, but his increasing consistency soon made him the first choice for club and country.
From Saturday, when she officiates the Challenge Cup match between Newcastle Falcons and Castres, Scottish referee Hollie Davidson will take care of a professional men’s game for the first time a week.
She has already worked this season as an assistant referee in the Challenge Cup and Champions Cup and has even whistled in the Six Nations women’s. “I am very excited about the appointment and look forward to being tested at the next level of rugby,” said the former U20 international from Scotland.