Head coach Richard Cockerill has hailed the re-signing of ‘world-class’ Edinburgh and Scotland back-row forward Hamish Watson, who has committed to a new long-term contract with the PRO14 club.
In almost a decade of service, the relentless ball carrier has shot to seniority with Scotland while at Edinburgh.
Watson, 29, has made 116 appearances for the club since he joined the academy aged 19 and has earned 36 caps for his country.
He said: “I have been at Edinburgh since I was 19, it really is home for me and my family. My two girls were born here and we’re so happy to be spending more of our lives here.
“I feel like we have both showed each other a great deal of loyalty. I love playing for Edinburgh. It means so much to me and, like I said last time round, I can’t see myself in another team’s jersey.
“I feel like the club has been, and is, heading in the right direction to win something over the next few years. That is what I believe this group of players is capable of and it would be great to do it for the club and the fans.
“All the players can’t wait to welcome all the fans back after covid, to our new home. I personally can’t wait to see the fans again and continue this journey.”
A former member of the Leicester Tigers academy, Edinburgh left the length of Watson’s new deal undisclosed.
But with the departure of star wing Duhan van der Merwe announced earlier this week, head coach Cockerill was effusive about Watson’s decision to commit.
Cockerill said: “This is really fantastic news for Edinburgh and a great statement on our plans for this squad for the seasons ahead.
“We’re delighted he’s staying – any coach would be happy to have him – and will continue to bring his relentless approach to rugby every time he takes to the field.
“He’s an incredible, world-class athlete and rugby player and shows incredible commitment every time he takes to the field for club or country, but he also has a very good rugby brain.
“He’s a very popular and senior member of our player group and it’s great to have him committed to the club for the foreseeable future.”