EDINBURGH have agreed terms on a contract extension with 22-year-old openside flanker Connor Boyle, for the now customary undisclosed length of time.
Boyle has played 15 games since debuting for his hometown club back in October 2020. He is four days older than Rory Darge and came through the age-grade ranks shoulder to shoulder with his fellow flanker, captaining the Scotland side on consecutive years in 2019 [Boyle] and 2020 [Darge], with Darge tending to play No 8 so that both could be accommodated in the team.
Darge’s career has kicked into overdrive since he made the move from Edinburgh to Glasgow Warriors at the tail-end of last season, culminating in full international honours in recent weeks and a stand-out performance against France last weekend. Meanwhile, Boyle has had to continue to be patient in his battle for regular game-time in the highly competitive Edinburgh back-row, although he has been encouraged by the exposure he’s had during the current Six Nations window when Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie and Magnus Bradbury have all been away on international duty, while Luke Crosbie and Viliame Mata have been injured.
“I’m absolutely delighted to sign a new deal with Edinburgh,” said Boyle. “This is the club I’ve grown up supporting and to play for them now is unbelievable.
“I’m really happy to have had a consistent run of games over the last few weeks. I haven’t had this much rugby since U20s and playing again is allowing me to get back into the groove. I still have a long way to go, but I feel I’m getting better each game.”
A former pupil at Edinburgh’s Stewart’s Melville College, he cut his teeth in senior rugby playing Stewart’s Melville RFC whilst a schoolboy, before moving across the city to join Watsonians while studying for a degree in International Business Management at Heriot Watt University. He played the Covid-aborted first season of Super6 with Watsonians in 2019-20, then moved from an academy to senior contract at Edinburgh that summer, signing a renewal of that deal last summer.
“I’ve been really impressed with Connor this season,” said Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair. “Not just in the way he’s performed in a run of really tough fixtures for the club, but in the way he’s matured into a real leader among a highly competitive back-row unit.
“Connor is still a young man, and still has plenty to work on and develop as player, but we’ve been delighted to see him take advantage of increased game time these past months – he’s been given that opportunity and really excelled
“Connor is a really coachable player too. He takes in everything we’re trying to develop as a team and you can see that in the way he’s played this season. We’re really happy to see him re-sign.”