Edinburgh bring in four Super Series players to boost squad depth

Corey Tait, Alfie Scopes, Ben Smith and Lewis Wells have agreed terms with capital outfit

Former Scotland Under-20s hooker Corey Tait has signed a partnership contract with Edinburgh and Boroughmuir Bears. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Former Scotland Under-20s hooker Corey Tait has signed a partnership contract with Edinburgh and Boroughmuir Bears. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
  • This article has been corrected since initial publication. The players have not joined Edinburgh on partnership contract as initially stated.

EDINBURGH have added four Scottish-qualified players to their squad to boost depth during the World  Cup period.

Back-row Ben Smith (Heriot’s), hooker Corey Tait (Boroughmuir Bears), wing Lewis Wells (Heriot’s) and lock Alfie Scopes (Watsonians) have all joined the club this week to supplement the squad and provide cover at a period in the season where a large portion of the wider team are unavailable due to international call ups.

Smith and Scopes joined Heriot’s and Watsonians respectively at the start of this Super Series Championship campaign having previously played at Loughborough University, Wells caught the eye playing for Edinburgh Accies in the Premiership last season having initially come through Linlithgow, while Tait is from Hawick and is the younger brother of Rhys, who signed for Doncaster Knights during the summer.

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“Edinburgh Rugby as a club has a strong link to the city’s FOSROC Super Series teams, so it’s brilliant that we’ve been able to work collaboratively to allow a number of players to step up and join our senior squad during this latest block of pre-season,” said assistant coach Rob Chrystie.

“The guys joining us are all players who’ve performed well in the Super Series competition, so this is about creating an avenue of opportunity while rewarding players that have a real desire to step up. Edinburgh Rugby will continue to assess the squad and use the Super Series pathway to identify players during the run up to Rugby World Cup.

“Our players really enjoyed taking part in the FOSROC Series Sprint competition with the ‘A’ team earlier this year, where we were able to get a first-hand experience of the competition.

“It will be excellent to welcome a number of those FOSROC Super Series players, that we faced in the Sprint, to training in the coming weeks where they’ll get a chance to make a real impact, while testing themselves against internationalists in a pro-environment.”

Meanwhile, Glasgow Warriors yesterday unveiled the names of four players they will have on partnership contracts this season. Former Dumfries Saints and GHA hooker Gregor Hiddleston is extending his deal after initially signing on in conjunction with Stirling Wolves last October, while Boroughmuir Bears centre Duncan Munn, Stirling Wolves scrum-half Ben Afshar and Ayrshire Bulls stand-off Richie Simpson have graduated from the FOSROC academy.

Edinburgh bring in veterans as short-term World Cup cover

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.


  1. The two groups of partnership players announced this week are quite contrasting. The Glasgow group- Hiddleston, Munn, Simpson and Afshar – are all developed in Scotland through age grade, academy and super series.

    Of the Edinburgh quartet only Corey Tait has come by that route. Lewis Wells has made astonishing progress from Linlithgow through Edinburgh Accies to Heriots super series (a journey and player similar to Jamie Sheddan of Ayrshire Bulls who has come through Kilmarnock, Marr, the Bulls in quick succession). He has had no involvement in age grade or academy teams.
    Ben Smith and Alfie Scopes have come through BUCS rugby in England. They have only come to Super series this season and both have only been involved in 4 games. Presumably they came North having already agreed partnership deals, but those deals have just been announced now to make it look like super series has had some role to play in their development.

  2. This, along with the Glasgow signings shows the pathway to pro rugby is through the Super series.

  3. Lots of players have been signed in last few years to never see meaningful game time and just be flung back to S6.

  4. Oh well maybe should have released this news at the same time as the journeyman story to avoid all the angst amongst the followers on this site.

    • My thoughts exactly.I thought the comments on the two “journeymen” signings were way over the top and borderline offensive about the two gentlemen involved. This looks like a good balance-four young players but also two very experienced battle hardened stalwarts. Edinburgh (and Glasgow) suffer more than virtually any other club in the URC during this RWC cycle due to us having only two clubs so it made sense to have some short term signings to cover the opening month (at least) of the URC season when the Scotland squad players are taking a well earned break.


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