​Hometown centurion extends capital stay

​Hometown centurion extends capital stay

Edinburgh Rugby Academy graduate, Scotland international and the club’s youngest ever centurion, Blair Kinghorn, today penned a new deal with his hometown team.

The 24-year-old will continue to represent the club he has been with since 2015, and for which he signed straight out of Edinburgh Academy aged 18.

Born and raised in the capital, Kinghorn surpassed the feat of former scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne in becoming the club’s youngest ever centurion – aged 24 years and 117 days – when he faced Glasgow Warriors in May 2021, five years on from his debut against Benetton Rugby in October 2016.

Kinghorn – who has also racked up 28 caps for his country – has made the successful return from full-back to stand-off this season – a position he played throughout his age-grade career – and has so far registered 37 points in four starts in the number 10 jersey this current campaign.

On penning a new deal, Kinghorn said: “I’m over the moon to be extending my time at Edinburgh. A lot of hard work has gone into this club and I think this season it’s really starting to show.

“This team can achieve a lot this year. We’ve shown our potential in the URC and even more so in our Challenge Cup win against Saracens. If we play to our potential, we’re definitely capable of getting some trophies which is what everyone wants.

“Having grown up in Edinburgh, while supporting the club from a young age, getting 100 caps for Edinburgh Rugby was a brilliant feeling, so now to be able to continue that journey is amazing.

“I’ve loved every bit of this season so far. Playing at the DAM Health has been amazing and running out to a packed-out crowd at home is something else. I really feel like it can become a fortress for us moving forward.”

An Edinburgh Academy product who played youth football with Hearts, Kinghorn enjoyed a breakout season in 2017/18 when he finished the campaign with most metres gained in the league, as well as a place in the end of season Dream Team.

His club form earned him a Scotland call up in 2018 – with Kinghorn making his international debut from the bench in the 25-13 Calcutta Cup win over England. He scored his first Scotland try against Ireland that same campaign.

Kinghorn then made history in 2019 when he scored Scotland’s first Six Nations hat-trick since Iwan Tukalo in 1989, in the 33-20 Six Nations victory over Italy.

Kinghorn – who has made 106 Edinburgh Rugby appearances to date – has continued his switch to stand-off on the international stage and started at number 10 in the recent 60-14 Autumn Nations Series victory over Tonga at BT Murrayfield.

He added: “I’m really enjoying my time at 10.

“I feel like I’m still developing, and it is early stages, but I feel like it’s going in the right direction.

“Mike [Blair] is being really helpful and is guiding me through it, and I’m really enjoying it. I enjoy the pressure of trying to lead the team in certain aspects of the game, and I feel like I can add real value to the squad.

“Mike has been amazing and all the boys are getting behind him. There’s a great feel around the club at the moment, and I think he’s enjoying it as well, which is a big part of it.”

Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach, Mike Blair, added: “I’m delighted we’ve been able to retain a player of Blair’s calibre at the club. He’s a local guy and a club centurion to boot, so it’s brilliant he will be staying with us for the foreseeable future.

“Blair is an extremely versatile player, who brings added quality with his unique skillset, while I have been really impressed with his form in a relatively new position at 10 at senior level. Blair has all the tools to be an exciting stand-off and I’m looking forward to seeing him continue to develop in that position.

“He will be a really key player for us moving forward and it’s great to see him really enjoying his rugby at the moment. Like us, I’m sure our supporters will be delighted to see him continue to represent the club for the seasons to come.”

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