Edinburgh scoop Skinner signature
Edinburgh Rugby today confirmed the signing of European Champions Cup and two-time English Premiership winning Exeter Chiefs and Scotland lock Sam Skinner.
Skinner – who will join the capital club next season – has started nine of his 15 Test caps to date since he burst on to the scene with a player of the match winning international debut against Fiji at BT Murrayfield in 2018.
The signing provides Edinburgh Rugby with a significant boost ahead of the upcoming 1872 Cup derbies – with the first leg hosted at Scotstoun this coming Monday 27 December – and sees the capital club continue its business for next season, with up-and-coming Scotland locks Jamie Hodgson and Marshall Sykes both putting pen-to-paper on new deals in the past week.
Skinner, said: “I’m massively excited to make the move north next season. The URC is an extremely competitive league and I’m really looking forward to testing myself in a new environment with a great group of lads.
“I want to challenge myself and grow as a player and Edinburgh is the perfect place to do that. I can’t wait to get stuck in, help the club to success while really experiencing Edinburgh and Scotland.
“I’m really looking forward to working with Mike [Blair]. I obviously worked with him for a period of time at Scotland and I like how he communicates and connects with players, while motivating them at the same time. He has Edinburgh playing an exciting brand of rugby and I believe it will suit my own playing style too.
“Having spoken to a lot of the boys at Scotland, there seems to be a really strong culture at the club, while it’s an exciting time with the new stadium, which I’ve heard has been fantastic so far with a brilliant atmosphere." Sam Skinner
“I can’t wait to get started next season. It’s such an exciting time for Edinburgh Rugby and I’m really looking forward to being part of the journey moving forward.”
A product of Torquay Boys’ Grammar School, Skinner finished his secondary studies in 2013 and set his sights on travelling the world on a gap year but a late growth spell encouraged him to give rugby one last go.
Skinner featured for National League Two South side Taunton Titans in 2014 – a period in which he was involved in the then Scottish Exiles (now Scottish Qualified) programme – before he was picked up by the Chiefs in the 2014/15 season.
He then became an increasingly prominent part of the Exeter squad that won the English Premiership title in 2017 and 2020 (runners-up in 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2021), completing the double with European Champions Cup glory in 2020.
As well as being part of the Exeter Chiefs squad, Skinner has, for the last few years, combined his work at Sandy Park with that of studying for a degree at the University of Exeter – whom he captained to BUCS Championship success in 2016 – with the lock recently achieving a first in business and economics.
A Scotland debutant against Fiji in 2018, Skinner – who is equally adept in the back-row – has featured in a plethora of memorable games for the national side, including the 38-38 draw at Twickenham in 2019 and the 2021 win over France in Paris, the team's first such result since 1999.
Head Coach Mike Blair, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to secure the signature of a player of Sam’s quality and reputation. His signing really adds to what we’re building at the club and I’ve got no doubt supporters will enjoy watching him pull on the Edinburgh jersey at DAM Health Stadium.
“He is a proven winner, while at 26-years-old he still has plenty of years ahead of him to develop and grow as a player.
“I’ve obviously worked with Sam during my time with the national team, so I’ve seen first-hand how dedicated he is to his craft, while his leadership and experience will bring added strength and depth to what is an already exciting forward pack.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming Sam to the club next season and I’m sure he’ll be relishing a new and exciting challenge at Edinburgh Rugby.”