CHRIS DEAN has become the third centre to either sign or re-sign for one of Scotland’s two pro teams this week, after putting a pen to paper on a new deal – for the customary secret period of time – with Edinburgh.
While Glasgow returnee Huw Jones, and capital team-mate Mark Bennett, tend to play in the No 13 channel, Dean is more of a No 12, and is up against James Lang and Cammy Hutchison in the battle for regular game time.
The 28-year-old – who came through the ranks at North Berwick RFC then Edinburgh Academy – has made 119 appearances for the club since his debut in 2015, scoring 17 tries in the process.
“I’m delighted to be given the opportunity to continue with Edinburgh. It’s always been home to me and I look forward to pulling on the jersey as many times as I can,” he said.
“I really am loving my rugby at the minute. With Mike [Blair] coming in, the new stadium and new brand of rugby, it’s reinvigorated my love for the game. I’m more excited than ever to keep improving and playing for Edinburgh.”
Dean scored a dramatic late winner when 14-man Edinburgh pipped Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield in the 2017 incarnation of the 1872 Cup, and looking ahead to this weekend’s edition of that fixture, he said: “I’m excited for every game but the 1872 Cup always has a special edge to it. It’s always a great occasion and I look forward to hopefully playing a part in a successful day.
“There have been some great memories over the years but I’d have to give it to the try I scored in the final minutes in 2017. It certainly wasn’t the most spectacular try but it was an electrifying feeling snatching the win with 14 men. It was a good night.
Head coach Mike Blair added: “Chris is an Edinburgh man, a club centurion and one of the most experienced players in the squad – we’re delighted to re-sign him for next season.
“After a frustrating start to the year with unavailability, Chris has taken the opportunities that have come his way and has really impressed us with his performances and his energy.
“He’s very confident at the moment, which was shown in his performances against Wasps and Ulster. In those games in particular he showcased how dangerous he can be creatively and how hard he is working for the team.”