RICHARD Cockerill has disclosed that in the summer, Edinburgh lock Andrew Davidson is leaving the club for Gloucester. He is joining an increasing number of players leaving for English clubs in Scotland.
Cockerill stressed, however, that it was by no means a one-way street between the two nations and said that Edinburgh will shortly announce new and ongoing signings.
The statement by the head coach that Davidson is on his way south comes only a day after it was announced that Duhan van der Merwe is leaving Edinburgh in the summer for another English Premiership side, Worcester. The departure of the star winger comes just three weeks after Glasgow suffered defeat in the fight to sign Adam Hastings, who is heading to Gloucester like Davidson.
But Cockerill said he still found it easy to convince players to sign for Edinburgh, despite recent impressions to the contrary, and said he was not worried about leaving too much talent. “Not really,” he said. We’re going to reveal in the coming days and weeks the guys who are coming and the others who are re-signing.
We have made Duhan a bid that is more than competitive. He decided not to embrace it and to move someplace else. It’s the economic side of that.
For his reasons, Duhan left us and Andrew Davidson is going to go to Gloucester. But we did some deals, and there are a few more that need to be done.
“I have never had a problem recruiting players to Edinburgh Rugby, to be honest. We have always been an enticing proposition to players to come to us since I’ve been here.
“As for Worcester and Gloucester, I don’t think they are two teams you can win silverware with. They have as much or as little chance as we do. I’m trying to remember the last time Gloucester or Worcester won a cup or the Premiership. So it’s a bit harsh to say players are leaving Edinburgh to win trophies.”
Davidson, 24, only joined Edinburgh last summer, after one season and a bit at Scotstoun, transferring to the Warriors. Initially, he joined Glasgow in 2018 on loan from Newcastle Falcons, then the contract was made permanent for the start of the season 2019-20.
“I think he’s played more regularly than any other lock in our team,”I believe he’s played more regularly than any other lock in our team. He came from Glasgow and didn’t play a lot, but he played a lot and changed a lot this season. He previously played in the Premiership and decided to return to the Premiership and he had a chance at Gloucester.
We decided to hold him, and we had a solid deal offered him. But for Davidson, it was not a financial decision – he felt it would be a nice chance to go to Glouncester.
Davidson missed last week’s derby win over Glasgow, however he will be available for Friday’s return leg at Scotstoun. He will face stiff competition to make the squad, though, with Scotland regular Grant Gilchrist back after two months off with a groin injury.
In a sweltering game at BT Murrayfield last weekend, Edinburgh came away with a 10-7 victory. But they suffered in the lineout, where Richie Gray was in charge of Glasgow after returning from injury, and Cockerill must be tempted this week to get Gilchrist back with Ben Toolis.
The coach said of Gilchrist, “He’s worked very hard, he’s recovered very well, he’s trained with us for the last couple of weeks and he’s done most things.” “He was very close to playing last week, but he wasn’t quite right, he wasn’t quite comfortable playing in his skin.” He’s been training for the last few days, though, and he’s ready to play.
“Like Davidson, Gilchrist will return to the action of the game, too. Over the weekend, Toolis was really strong. Jamie Hodgson was doing really well, as was [Andries] Ferreira. So, if we’re all fit, we have a decent line-up, and Lewis Carmichael is going to be back, too.
“We were clearly not good enough in the lineout, and that will be an important part of our game. We had key positions where we couldn’t win the ball and that hurt us, so we’ve got to get a handle on that this weekend.”