Edinburgh Rugby today announced the signing of 23-year-old Bay of Plenty centre Sam Beard until the end of the season, subject to medical examination.
The former Crusaders’ development player, who has enjoyed a steady progression through the New Zealand rugby ranks, is expected to arrive later this month.
Edinburgh Rugby head coach, Alan Solomons, said: “Beard has played most of his rugby in Canterbury and has proved himself to be a solid young 12 in the ITM Cup.
He’s played in the rugby hotbed of Canterbury and has been on the cusp of Super Rugby in arguably the best breeding ground in the world.
"This opportunity is really an extended trial for him to prove he’s capable of adding value to our squad longer term, while adding to an area in which we currently lack a little depth.”
Beard moved from Timaru to Christchurch to pursue a career in the sport and kicked off matters in earnest with Burnside's championship-winning team.
He was then called up to the provincial Canterbury B team and, after an impressive season in which he was named player of the year, was brought into the Crusader Knights, the development squad of the Super Rugby giants.
Bay of Plenty then offered the midfielder the next step on the provincial ladder, where he played out his first season before being approached to join the Murrayfield club.
Beard said: “This is a very exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the club and the rugby culture.
“I’ve only heard great things about the city and am looking forward to working hard to improve my game and further my rugby career.
I consider myself a ball running midfielder that plays an attacking style of footy, but I’ll look to do my best in offering whatever and wherever I can to benefit the side.
“Getting the chance to run out on Murrayfield Stadium will definitely be a career highlight for me.”
Sam Beard (23), centre
Born: 03/05/1990 in Timaru
Height: 6’ (183cm), weight: 14st 9lb (93kg)