HERIOT’S centre Cameron Hutchison has signed a partnership contract with Edinburgh, meaning that he will divide his time next season between Super6 and trying to establish himself as regular in the full-time pro game.
The 23-year-old was a stand-out player for Heriot’s during the inaugural season of Super6 and has impressed whilst training with Edinburgh since November, leading to his breakthrough during the last two games of the capital outfit’s Rainbow Cup campaign, when he scored a try in his debut off the bench against Ulster and then made several telling contributions with ball in hand during his first start against Scarlets (earning the club’s weekly ‘JBC Peak Performer’ award, making 57 metres and beating seven defenders).
“I’m delighted. It’s been a long road for me to get to this point so I feel very fortunate, lucky and really grateful for the support network that’s helped me over the past few years in particular,” he said. “To now be in a position to compete at a level I’ve wanted to for a long time is a privilege, especially in Edinburgh, where I’ve grown up, with a club I’ve grown up supporting.”
The former North Berwick High School and George Heriot’s School pupil captained Scotland at U19 level, and featured prominently in the Scotland U20 sides of 2017 and 2018 whilst playing club rugby for Currie Chieftains.
He was then seconded to the south of France through Scottish Rugby’s performance partnership with French Federale 1 side Stade Nicois and returned to the Scottish capital to play for Heriot’s during the 2019-20 FOSROC Super6 season.
“I knew the Rainbow Cup was coming and I saw it as an opportunity to get some game time for me and other young boys like Matt Currie, Paddy Harrison and Benny Muncaster,” Hutchison explained.
“There was a part of me that felt the road I’d been on for the past few years had all led to that point, so I wasn’t too nervous. It was more about enjoying the opportunity.
“I had worked hard for the last couple of years to put myself in that position and felt like I’d earned a chance, rather than one was being taken on me.
“That put me in a confident mental state going into the game. I knew there was a lot on the line but for me it was just about enjoying it. What’s the point of going through all the training for the past few years if you’re not going to enjoy it and take it in?
“To get on the bench against Ulster was massive for me and my family and to start against Scarlets was the icing on the cake.”
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“This is now the starting point,” he added. “It’s come later than I probably would have hoped and planned when I was leaving school and going through Scotland U20, but I feel I’ve had the full experience of what ‘going through the system’ really means.
“Now I’m in the pro environment, this is where the hard work really begins. It’s the start of my career in a sense and I’m really looking forward to getting into it.”
Edinburgh Rugby Head Coach Richard Cockerill said: “We’re really pleased to offer Cammy his first professional contract.
“He’s shown a lot of grit and determination to force his way into contention and we were delighted with how he performed and took his opportunity once he got out on the pitch.
“He’s a great example of how the system can recognise and reward promising players who have the talent but also the desire to pursue a dream with his local team.
“Hopefully he’ll use this first pro deal as another springboard to kick on once more.”