DAVE Cherry has become the latest senior member of the Edinburgh squad to agree a new deal with the team. The 31-year-old hooker joins the likes of Blair Kinghorn in signing a fresh contract for an unspecified period.
“There have been big changes at Edinburgh and I’m really enjoying it,” Cherry said. “The club is heading in the right direction and, as far as I was concerned, it was somewhere I wanted to be. I’m delighted to have re-signed and I’m looking forward to seeing where the club goes from here.
“Edinburgh is home for me. I love the city and the club, and the direction the team is going in. It’s an exciting time to be part of the club, especially playing in DAM Health Stadium with our brilliant fans. The coaching staff have got us playing a really exciting brand of rugby and It’s something I want to be a part of moving forward.
“I’m delighted to have re-signed while getting the chance to fight for my position as part of an exciting Edinburgh team. I’m really looking forward to seeing where we can go.”
Last year was the best of his career to date for Cherry, who made his Scotland debut off the bench in the victory over England at Twickenham. He won another three caps as a replacement in the Six Nations, but started against Italy, when he scored two tries. He will be in the running for further caps this year, but knows that the primary challenge is to make as many appearances as possible for Edinburgh – ideally in the No 2 jersey rather than the No 16.
“I think my performances have been fairly good of late,” he added. “We’ve got a lot of competition in the hooking department now, but I just want to have the starting jersey as often as I can. If you’re not in the team, you want to be pushing the boys who are playing as much as you can. The culture at the club is great and that’s driving the standards of each and every player in the squad.”
Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair emphasised Cherry’s leadership qualities as well as his individual skills, and said it was important to keep up the competition at hooker. “Dave has really cemented himself as an important leader in our squad, so we’re delighted to retain the services of player who is integral to our plans moving forward,” he said.
“I’ve been impressed with Dave this season and also during my time with Scotland. It was fantastic to see him play so well for his country having worked so hard to get his breakthrough at international level.
“We have a lot of competition at the hooker position – with a number of guys all vying for the starting spot – so to re-sign a player of Dave’s calibre will help in driving competition for places even further in the seasons to come.”
Maybe not quite as good as the other prospective hookers in certain aspects of rugby but perhaps the most overall dependable option Edinburgh and Scotland have at hooker
Really pleased to see this. Cherry is our most consistent performing No.2 and is solid in all areas of his game. Over the past 3 years at Edinburgh and then at international level, Cherry has performed more reliably than Brown, Rambo and Turner and shown mental toughness to deliver when the pressure is on. I hope Townsend gives him further chances in the national side.