Edinburgh agree terms with Scots-qualified props

Angus Williams and Harrison Courtney arrived from New Zealand to play Super6 with Watsonians

Harrison Courtney in action for Edinburgh versus Brive last month. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Harrison Courtney in action for Edinburgh versus Brive last month. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

EDINBURGH have re-signed back-up props Angus Williams and Harrison Courtney for the 2022-23 season. The Kiwi-born duo – who originally moved to the capital to play Super6 rugby with Watsonians – are Scottish qualified, with tighthead Williams qualifying through his Edinburgh-born mother, and loosehead Courtney through his grandfather from Dundee.

28-year-old Williams graduates to a full-time professional contract with the capital side, while 24-year-old Courtney  re-signs on a partnership deal with the Myreside club. The pair have played a combined total of seven games this season

“We’re really happy to retain Angus and Harrison for next season,” said Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair. “They’ve both shown they can perform at this level, while their drive and passion to continually develop their own games has been really impressive.

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“We’ve got a really strong group of props at the minute and Angus and Harrison have been valuable additions to that unit. I’ve really enjoyed working with both guys and we’re glad to have them part of the team moving forward.”

Born and raised in the coastal town of Whitianga in New Zealand’s North Island, Williams attended St Paul’s Collegiate School in Hamilton for his final year, before he studied for two Bachelor’s degrees – in both Physical Education, Exercise and Sports Science, and Science (nutrition) – at Otago University. During that time, the tighthead played over 100 games for the University’s rugby club, helping them to three Otago Metropolitan Premier Club Rugby titles and gaining recognition with New Zealand Universities.

Williams made his Edinburgh Rugby debut from the bench in the away victory over Connacht in March 2021 and has made eight appearances for the capital club so far.

“I’m absolutely delighted to have signed a pro deal,” he said. “I’m really enjoying being part of the group, it’s awesome. I love the lads and the environment we have here.

“Everyone works hard and is pushing each other to get better each and every week, so it’s really enjoyable. Working with Mike [Blair] has been great too and he’s created an environment that suits me and will help develop my game further.

Courtney grew up in Hamilton, New Zealand, where he went on to captain the Hamilton Boys’ High School First XV and played in the Sanix World Rugby Youth Invitational event in Japan. He earned a scholarshipto Lincoln University in Christchurch to continue his rugby while studying for a Bachelor of Sport and Recreation Management.

He trained with Canterbury and featured at the end of the 2019 season against Wellington in the Mitre 10 Cup semi-final, before moving to Scotland forthe inaugural FOSROC Super6 season.

The loosehead prop made his Edinburgh Rugby debut from the bench in November’s bonus-point win over Dragons at Rodney Parade and has made three appearances in the Edinburgh pack so far.

“I’m really stoked to be signing on with the club, it’s a great environment with a great bunch of lads,” he said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to learn in the environment, make the most of it and learn from the awesome talent we have at the club.

“It’s really exciting and I’m already looking forward to next season.”

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About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.