Four days after scoring his first Edinburgh try, James King today signed a two-year contract extension with the club and vowed to build on a promising debut campaign in the capital.
The centre, who stepped back up to the professional game last summer after impressing with Melrose in the Premiership, has endeared himself to the Edinburgh support through a series of hard-running, intelligent midfield displays which culminated in that breakthrough score against Connacht last Friday night.
King, 25, has now committed himself to the club until at least the end of May 2013, pledging to maintain the good habits that have propelled his rapid rise.
The Berwick-raised player confirmed: “I was thrilled when Edinburgh gave me the chance to get back into pro-rugby last summer, and I undertook to work as hard as I possibly could to make the most of that opportunity.
“I missed a couple of months of the season with a thigh injury, but the coaches here have always said that if you keep putting your hand up in training, you’ll get your rewards in selection, and I’d like to think that when I have been in the team, I’ve shown I’ve got something to offer.
“It’s great to have my future sorted out, and it’s now about kicking on again and making sure myself and the team keep getting better. It’s been great training and playing alongside guys like Ben Cairns, Nick De Luca and John Houston, and I’m sure the competition that there is in that area of the team will stand us all in good stead moving forward.”
Interim head coach Nick Scrivener enthused: “James is a great example of a player who has got his head down, made real improvements to his game, and has been rewarded in recent times in terms of both selection and performance.
“He’s a talented guys who’s prepared to listen to advice, and if he continues to show the same traits over the next couple of years, he’ll be a big part of this club’s future.”
King becomes the fifth player to sign a contract extension in recent weeks. British and Irish Lion Ross Ford, reigning Magners League Young Player of the Season and the competition’s current top try-scorer, Tim Visser, and young guns Lee Jones and Tom Brown have all pledged their futures to the club.
It was, however, today confirmed that Fraser McKenzie is to leave come the end of the season. The back-five forward has chosen not to take up Edinburgh’s offer of a contract extension, and as such is to bring to an end a three-year association with the club.
Weight: 13st 8lb
Height: 5ft 10in
James King embarked upon his second stint as a professional player in Scotland when he joined Edinburgh in summer 2010. King impressed against both Northampton Saints and Ulster that October, but, partly because of injury, had to wait until the away Magners League game against Munster in February 2011 for his next start in the black and red.
King, who spends much of his spare time playing golf, has had spells with both Border Reivers and L'Aquila, the outfit from central Italy. He has also represented Scotland at under-18, under-19 and under-21 level and was educated at Berwick High School.