Edinburgh confirm Andrew Davidson and Marshall Sykes recruitment

Scottish-qualified pairing make the journey east to add strength in depth to the capital outfit's pack

Marshall Sykes during a training session with Glasgow Warriors. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Marshall Sykes during a training session with Glasgow Warriors. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

EDINBURGH have confirmed the recruitment of two young Scottish-qualified back-five forwards ahead of next season in the shape of Andrew Davidson from Glasgow Warriors and Marshall Sykes from the Ayrshire Bulls Super6 franchise (where he was a Fosroc Scottish Rugby Academy Stage 3 player).

Both are former Scotland Under-20s caps and will battle for game-time against established Scotland caps Grant Gilchrist and Ben Toolis (as well as provide cover during the international windows). Fraser McKenzie is also an option in the second-row, while Lewis Carmichael is expected to be utilised predominantly in the back-row.

“We’re really excited to secure the signatures of both Andrew and Marshall – they’re two players that add further strength and depth to our squad,” said Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill.


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“Andrew gained plenty of experience down at Newcastle Falcons, while he’s been impressive in limited game time since his return to Glasgow.

“Marshall is still pretty raw, but he’s extremely hardworking and we believe that he has the potential to develop into a really talented lock or back-row.

“We look forward to working with both players moving forward.”

23-year-old Davidson came through the ranks at Glasgow’s Kelvinside Academy, played club rugby for Glasgow Hawks in the Scottish Premiership, had a short loan spell with London Scottish, then joined Newcastle Falcons in the summer of 2016, where he played 28 games during a two-year spell at Kingston Park.

Davidson initially returned to Scotland on a loan deal with Glasgow Warriors in August 2018, before signing a full-time deal for the 2019-20 campaign.

“The opportunity to join Edinburgh came up and I thought it would be a great place for me to further develop and improve as a player,” said Davidson. “Edinburgh have shown over the past few seasons that they are one of the best clubs in the league and I’m looking forward to getting started with my new teammates.”

Meanwhile, 20-year-old Sykes was born in the English town of Woodbridge and educated at Ipswich’s St Joseph’s College. He qualifies for Scotland through his Dundee-born Grandmother.

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A back-row/lock hybrid forward, he represented Scotland at U18s level before making his U20s debut during the 2018 U20 Six Nations. He was due to play a second season at that age-grade during 2018-19 but missed most of the campaign with a serious knee injury.

He bounced back in fine style playing for the Bulls (whilst training with Warriors) during the 2019-20 campaign.

“I’m very grateful for all the support that I have received during the past two years in the FOSROC Scottish Rugby Academy,” said Sykes.

“It’s helped my development massively and opened up this opportunity to join a top club like Edinburgh.

“Edinburgh is clearly a club that prides itself on being physical which is definitely an area that I believe I can excel in.

“For me, it’s now about getting myself in the best condition to hit the ground running for the upcoming season. I hope to make a good impression from the get go and make my mark with my new teammates.”


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David Barnes
About David Barnes 1880 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.

7 Comments

  1. Disappointing. Looks like Glasgow is being decimated for SRU and Edinburgh ideals and not the good of general rugby in Scotland.

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    • Does it though? A side that could start next season with players like Horne, Price, Johnson, Nakarawa, Gray, Ferguson, Kebble, Brown, Cummings, Fagerson (M) to name only a few is what a side being “decimated” looks like….that’s mental chat

  2. Worrying times for Glasgow warriors supporters. I cannot understand why Glasgow have let these two go.

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  3. Sick of the SRU using the pro clubs to stockpile players. The money for a lot of these salaries would be better going into the actual clubs.

    I’d rather we ditched the pro teams and went back to club rugby in Scotland where we would have the same players being paid much, much less but feeding into and strengthening the clubs who are the lifeblood of rugby in Scotland.

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    • I was disappointed when Pro rugby happened and my local Borders team was no longer top-tier rugby, and games were no longer a spectacle involving internationalists.

      The historical Border top tier teams simply cannot compete with their Celtic/Anglo/French counterparts, small towns vs city or county teams. Edinburgh and Glasgow in that regard are a better comparison.

      Saying that, I do somewhat agree that more focus could be put on club level rugby. I don’t think the Super 6 idea was exactly the greatest outcome for club rugby, though I’m sure there’s others with more informed opinions. Still attend games for my local amateur team but wouldn’t mind their games being held in the Summer instead, seems to me for those teams there’s not exactly a conflict with an International/European calendar anymore, so let’s make it more accommodating for local fans.

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