BLAIR KINGHORN will leave Edinburgh to sign for French Top 14 side Toulouse on 4th December, subject to a medical. The full-back will play for the capital side in Friday night’s home URC clash against Benetton and the following weekend’s away game against Ulster before making the move on 4th December, with his new club paying a six-figure fee to buy out the 26-year-old’s contract.
Kinghorn’s current contract with the Edinburgh was set to end in June, and he had intimated his intention to move to the French side at that point before this deal was agreed. His new contract with Toulouse – who are currently fifth in the French Top 14 after six rounds of matches – is for three years. He will compete against France full-back Thomas Ramos and Italian star Ange Capuozzo for game-time in his new club’s back three, while Antoine Dupont, Roman Ntamack, Cyril Baille, François Cros and Anthony Jelonch are also on the Toulouse roster.
“This has been a really tough decision,” said Kinghorn. “I’ve called this place home for nine years and have massive loyalty to this club. It gave me everything in my career so far and was the start of my professional rugby journey. I feel like they’ve really got the best out of me.
“Joining Toulouse is an opportunity that’s come forward that I think will be good for me as a person, and to develop my career and my game. It’s a big decision, but I feel like it’s the right move for me.
“I’m really grateful to Edinburgh, for seeing this as great opportunity for me to develop personally and as a rugby player, but it is still going to be a sad day.”
Edinburgh have depth in the back three, including internationalists Duhan van der Merwe, Darcy Graham and Emiliano Boffelli (the latter two are currently injured) as well as Wes Goosen and youngsters coming through such as Nathan Sweeney and Harrry Patterson.
Edinburgh Rugby Senior Coach Sean Everitt said: “Blair is an Edinburgh boy through and through, a home-grown club centurion and Scotland internationalist – he’s certainly the type of quality player we’d have liked to retain in the blue and orange of Edinburgh Rugby.
“His intention to leave at the end of his current contract certainly played a part in our decision to agree to his premature release, as well as our well-documented strength and depth in the back-three.
“It was on that basis, we agreed reluctantly to this release in return for payment of a significant sum from Toulouse, which we’ll now consider carefully how best it can be reinvested in the club.
“We wish Blair all the very best in is new challenge in France and thank him for his commitment to the club.”
Kinghorn joined his hometown team in May 2015 and Friday night’s game will be his 138th appearance in Edinburgh colours.