Versatile Immelman eager to make his mark
Edinburgh Rugby fans can expect dynamism, power, and skill from versatile new signing Henry Immelman.
Immelman, 26, recently joined the club from French Top14 side Montpellier, and will add a wealth of experience across multiple positions in the capital club’s back line.
A Grey College alumnus, the South African flier had been in France since 2016, scoring 13 tries in 75 appearances, and he is relishing the chance to test himself in the Scottish capital.
“My first month here has been really good”, said Immelman. “Since I’ve arrived everyone has been so nice, and helping me settle in, it has been really great.
“I’ve just come back from injury, so I have been working hard to get back on the field. It has been good to meet all the new players and get involved in the new environment.
“I managed to explore Edinburgh a bit the first week I was here, around the castle and things like that. Seeing the castle up close was pretty special. It’s an amazing city to be in.” Henry Immelman
Immelman was greeted in Edinburgh by a couple of familiar faces, fellow new signing Luan de Bruin, as well as prop Boan Venter. The South African community at the club has also made settling into his new surroundings as smooth as possible.
“I knew two of the South African boys, Luan and Boan, but the others I didn’t know, but knew of them.
“It has really helped me settle in having a group of guys who have a similar background to me, they’ve been showing me round the city, as well as helping me get to know the new surroundings at the club.”
Immelman has moved to the capital at an exciting time, with a new stadium, and new competition - all of which has been enough to persuade Henry to turn down offers from his former club and beyond.
“I’ve played against Edinburgh a couple of times, so I knew on the field it was a good club.
“I’ve also always wanted to play in the UK, and about 5 or 6 months ago I had a chat with the team, and they gave me background on the club and the squad, and where I will fit in.
“I had the opportunity to stay at my old club in France, but I wanted a new experience and new environment, so when Edinburgh gave me the offer, it was a no-brainer.
“Another big reason for coming was the new competition, especially with the South African sides joining. It’ll be exciting to travel back to South Africa and play against guys that I played with at school and U21 levels.
“They’re going to bring a lot of physicality, and they’ve also got really fast and versatile backs, so they’ll try to play lots of quick rugby against us. It’ll be exciting and we can’t wait.”
Since the South African was announced as an Edinburgh player, there have been changes in the coaching department, with former club captain Mike Blair taking over from Richard Cockerill.
Immelman will be hoping his Swiss-Army-Knife adaptability will give the new head coach plenty of options through the upcoming season.
“Mike has been amazing, all of the boys are saying he’s bringing a new style to the team, and there’s definitely a good vibe around the club. Mike has been helping me a lot with key points, it’s been amazing so far.
“In general, I try to be an all-round player in the back-line, wherever I’m picked, I’ll play there, whether it’s centre, full-back, or whatever is needed.
"I haven’t trained with the team yet, but if I’m introduced to a new game plan I’ll contribute to it however I can.
“I enjoy being versatile, a season is long and there’s always injuries, so to be able to cover a few positions in the back line is an important thing. I’ll try to play as many positions as I can.” Henry Immelman
Henry’s opening month has been a whirlwind, and he has a lot to look forward to, both on and off the field.
He is counting down the days until his chance to play in front of the home crowd at the new Edinburgh Rugby Stadium, and as an avid golfer, he’s also looking forward to getting onto some of Scotland’s famous courses.
“I’m really looking forward to the first time in the stadium with the fans, I want to play the best rugby that I can.
“The Edinburgh fans are passionate, and I’m going to give everything on the field, and I hope they enjoy it.
“I do try to switch off from rugby, I like to play golf or just relax in the city.
“I’m not a good golf player, but I enjoy playing with mates to switch off. I haven’t played yet in Scotland, and I’m definitely looking forward to it!”