Edinburgh Rugby today secured the services of one the country’s leading young talents, Matt Scott, on a new deal that will keep him at the club until the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The 22-year-old centre put pen to paper on a two-year extension back in January, at a time when he was still considered an academy prospect in his final year of university, studying Law.
Despite already making great strides in his debut season, Scott rose to greater prominence in the international window where he made a try-scoring debut in Scotland A’s 35-0 win over England Saxons in February before earning his first cap for Scotland in the RBS 6 Nations in March.
A month later and Scott had added a Heineken Cup quarter and semi-final to his resume, before being selected to start all three matches on his first Scotland tour.
Test victories over Australia, Fiji and Samoa followed, before he capped an impressive season in the graduation hall at the University of Edinburgh, where he collected his Law degree on the same day that he arrived home from Australasia.
With a career in professional rugby now in his grasp, Scott has set his studies to one side to focus fully on performing for Edinburgh Rugby and Scotland.
He said: “In January I was still an academy player trying to establish myself in the Edinburgh Rugby team. I was lucky enough to get a few starts, but I didn’t think I was near the Scotland squad at that stage. I was just concentrating on trying to play well for the club.
“That was only six or seven months ago but a lot has happened since then. Even though I was capped in the 6 Nations, I felt like a completely different player after the summer tour.
“It’s a great learning environment when you’re in a different country and playing in hostile temperatures. You’re battling against a lot of different elements, besides the rugby, so I feel like a much more mature and rounded player.”
While the original deal was due to run until the summer of 2014, Edinburgh Rugby and Scottish Rugby officials were keen to acknowledge the heightened expectations on the youngster with contractual recognition of his development and importance to the club.
Edinburgh Rugby managing director, Craig Docherty, said: “We’re delighted that Matt has extended his contract at the club.
“He’s a local lad, who grew up in the city playing his club rugby at Currie and is a fantastic example of how home grown talent can excel in Scotland and with Edinburgh Rugby.
“He’s a bright young man, with a promising future in and out of the sport. His work ethic is exceptional and he’s a fantastic role model for young players in the east of Scotland.”
Born in Dunfermline, Scott moved to Edinburgh when he was six months old, attending Curriehill Primary School and Currie High School before starting out on the road to becoming professional rugby player with Currie rugby club in the Scottish Premiership and British & Irish Cup.
After realising his dream of playing professionally and representing his country, Scott explained that it was reassuring to have his hard work rewarded.
“It’s great for me and all the players to see the club recognise good performances.
“I’m very fortunate to be in this position. It’s very encouraging and shows that Edinburgh Rugby is a club that looks after players that give their all.
“There’s a really good group of players coming through and we’re all really happy to stay here for the foreseeable future.
“We’ve got a captain and coach who really want us to win things and with this group of players I believe we can achieve these goals. That’s my main reason for staying at this club.”
Edinburgh Rugby head coach Michael Bradley, said: "We are delighted that Matt sees his long term future at Edinburgh Rugby.
"Matt has worked very hard, both on and off the pitch and, as an athlete, he is developing into one of Edinburgh Rugby's most powerful and explosive players.
"His ability to create a half gap or play someone through a defensive line are qualities that will enable him and Edinburgh Rugby to achieve our long term ambitions of challenging for silverware."