Edinburgh Rugby today received a timely boost ahead of two crucial matches in the Heineken Cup, with the announcement that 21-year-old centre Matthew Scott has extended his contract to 2014.
The club, currently top of Pool 2, are targeting a place in the knockout rounds of European Cup competition and face Racing Metro in Paris this Friday, followed by the final group fixture against London Irish at Murrayfield the following Sunday (22 January).
Scott signed as an elite development player (EDP) in the summer having impressed as a Scotland age-grade internationalist and key part of Currie rugby club’s rise to prominence in Premier 1 and the British & Irish Cup.
Since then he has become a familiar feature for the club, combining his upbringing as a stand-off and 15-stone frame to great effect as a play-making centre with an eye for the try line, scoring against RaboDirect PRO12 champions Munster and Heineken Cup champions Leinster at Murrayfield.
Edinburgh Rugby head coach Michael Bradley said: “It’s fantastic for the club to have bright young players like Matt [Scott] committing to the club.
“He took full advantage of the opportunity offered to our younger players when the internationalists were in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup and has worked hard to keep his place in the squad since their return.
“He’s an Edinburgh boy through-and-through so it means a lot to him to get this deal and I’m sure he’ll prove to be an asset to the club in the years to come.”
Alongside his fledgling professional rugby career Scott has managed his final year as a Law student at The University of Edinburgh where he expects to graduate this year.
Speaking from the University’s Old College Law School buildings, Scott expressed his delight at extending his contract with the club and putting his legal career on hold.
He said: “At times it’s been challenging to manage my studies, training and playing, but this is evidence that the hard work is paying off. I’m really looking forward to finishing my degree and focusing all my energy on being a professional rugby player.
“Michael [Bradley] has shown a lot of faith in me this season. It’s good to know that my performances have merited a lot of game time and this new contract which will allow me to pursue my dreams at the club I’ve grown up supporting.”
Scott is the latest player to commit their future to Edinburgh Rugby, following on from the contract extensions of scrum-half and captain, Greig Laidlaw, stand-offs Harry Leonard and Gregor Hunter and forwards David Denton, Stuart McInally, Sean Cox and Steven Turnbull.
Edinburgh Rugby chief executive, Craig Docherty, added: “Today’s announcement is the latest step towards moulding a bright and competitive future for Edinburgh Rugby.”