Edinburgh add two Australians to the roster for next season

Stand-off Jono Lance and centre Matt Gordon join Richard Cockerill's side from Worcester Warriors and London Scottish, respectively

Jono Lance in action for Worcester Warriors. Image: Robbie Stephenson/JMP - Edinburgh Rugby
Jono Lance in action for Worcester Warriors. Image: Robbie Stephenson/JMP - Edinburgh Rugby

EDINBURGH have boosted their squad with the signing of experienced stand-off Jono Lance from Worcester Warriors, and fellow Australian inside-back Matt Gordon from London Scottish.

29-year-old Lance has had spells playing Super Rugby for the Queensland Reds (including the 2011 championship season), NSW Waratahs (including the 2014 championship seasons), Western Force and Melbourne Rebels, and in the English Premiership for Worcester, as well as having a stint playing Australia 7s on the HSBC World Series.

He came close to a full cap when he toured Europe with the Wallabies in November 2016. He was named on the bench against France, but didn’t make it on to the pitch in a tight contest, and then broke his arm playing for an Australian XV against the French Barbarians the following week, which ruled him out for the remainder of the trip.


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“To get the chance to come to a club that has become one of the strongest in the Guinness PRO14 and to hopefully play Champions Cup rugby was an opportunity I couldn’t refuse,” said Lance.

“The style of rugby Edinburgh have been playing is something that excites me and to have coaches who feel that you can be a big part of developing that brand of rugby was something I wanted to be a massive part of.

“My partner and I did a big drive through Scotland as a holiday and loved all of it. And Edinburgh is one of the greatest cities in the world, so to have the chance to play rugby there really is amazing.

“After chatting to some players and meeting the coaches to hear their vision for the club in the near future and long term, it’s clear that there are exciting times ahead for Edinburgh Rugby.”

25-year-old Gordon is from Toowoomba in Queensland, and represented Queensland Country in the National Rugby Championship (NRC) from 2015 to  2018 before making the switch to Brisbane City in 2018, where he played alongside Wallaby internationals Quade Cooper and Karmichael Hunt.

Prior to making the switch to Richmond, the centre played Queensland Premier Rugby with Easts Tigers where he helped the Brisbane club to a second-place finish in 2018.

Gordon joined London Scottish ahead of the 2019-20 campaign and featured in 15 matches across all competitions last season, crossing the whitewash on four occasions as the Exiles finished in ninth place in the English Championship.

“I’m delighted to have signed for Edinburgh,” he said. “They’ve put together a great squad over the last few seasons and are really starting to make their mark in both the Guinness PRO14 and European competitions.

“They have very good basics and play an attractive brand of rugby. I was hugely impressed by the facilities as well as their aspirations and ambitions as a club. They consistently want to be competing at the top end of the game and that’s where every professional player wants to be.

Richard Cockerill was clear in what he expects from his players and I like that. I’m looking forward to getting started and bring something different to the squad.”

Head coach Cockerill said: “Jono is a very experienced playmaker that fits the mould of both the type of rugby player and person that we want at this club.

“He’s a good character that works hard for his teammates and we believe that his skillset is well suited to the style of rugby we want to implement at Edinburgh.

“We’re delighted with the signing and look forward to working with Jono next season.

“Matt has been very impressive during his time with London Scottish so we’re excited to bring him on board.

“He’s clearly a powerful man that runs very hard and direct – he’ll definitely add some grunt and strength to our midfield.

“We’ve already got a good group of centres here at the club, but we certainly think that Matt’s skillset adds a different dynamic and we’re excited to watch him develop.”


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About David Barnes 2991 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he 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.

12 Comments

  1. Cockerill has helped a lot of Scottish players to develop – particularly in the pack but Dean, Johnston and Taylor have all broken through or improved dramatically on his watch. The comment below about him not caring because he’s English is mince.

    I’d prefer to see Scottish qualified players in the Pro teams, but the reality of pro rugby is that a lot of guys spend weekends as non-playing reserves, so some of the developing players are maybe better getting regular game time in the Super 6. I’m sceptical about S6 but it can’t be judged on one incomplete season.

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  2. I get the signing of the 10 as no obvious options from super 6 , however , the centre recruitment seems an odd one as Scott’s departure offers an opportunity to promote from super 6 . Edinburgh have 4 good centres and although Dean has missed most of this season he was excellent last year as Scott struggled with form snd injury and didn’t meet expectations. Taylor has shown his quality in cover for Scott and Dean and is now toe to toe in box seat . Scott on his day could be the best in Scotland and was unfortunate to mistime his form with national selection . I don’t my want to name names but there are at least two Super six centres who should have had this rare opportunity.to attack this space , accelerate their development that the SRU has invested in and step up .

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  3. Cockerell is English and he is not interested in promoting young scots. Another SRU blunder

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  4. This sites topic sections are invariably filled with xenophobic nonsense.

    Am oot.

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  5. Hard to fathom this out.

    We are in a crisis with no sign of if and when Rugby will resume.

    If the furlough scheme is not extended at the end of June, loads of organisations in all sectors will be looking at redundancy.

    Other rugby governing bodies have publicly forecast or announced huge losses, and messages that the game may change for ever.

    Yet the SRU have made no announcement on finances and are recruiting.

    Not just that, but overseas players, when for example the Sevens Squad, full of Scottish Qualified boys, with their worldwide schedule may have their coats on a shoogly peg. Further as others have noted we have S6 as a breeding ground; and it seems one recruit in Lance from Worcester where Weir a Scotsman and ex-Edinburgh player is first choice!

    Confused?

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    • SRU are out of touch with most things in rugby nowadays.

      Dodsons Super 6 idea was to give Scottish qualified players a chance to step up .
      It’s not happening looking at these journeyman signings ..
      A lot of these franchises will go belly up owing thousands . I’d like to see what Dodson does then

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  6. What’s the point of having Super 6 in Scotland .surely they should have given Scottish lads involved with them the chance to step up .
    What is the point of these teams otherwise.

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  7. I thought the so called super 6 was nurture Scottish talent. Or is not fit for purpose as Mr Dodson said about the Scottish club rugby. There is a lot of Scottish talent out there.

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  8. A 17-year-old Saffer “development player” I can just about accept; although I’d rather he was a 17-year-old “Scottish prospect.”

    But, a 29-y-ol and a 25-y-o Aussie player, neither of whom is Scotland-qualified. Sorry, but Cockerill and now Mallinder are having a laugh.

    It ought to be Scottish plaeyrs first. I don’t mind bringing in genuine world-class talent such as the two “Weegies from Fiji,” or Bill Mata, but, English or Southern Hemisphere journeymen we can do without.

    Put Scots first, believe in Scottish talent, that’s our way forward.

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  9. that say’s it all 9 leaving Edinburgh and what do they do fill them with incomers how do you bring Scottish talent on if they cannot get a contract and for signing a 17 yr old Springbox and say he will be great for development of youngster’s well that beats me they should spend a bit more and maybe get a 4 or 5 rate all black can some one tell me when a normal working man got a cap thats men that get up and do a days work first or is it that us type are to thick to play for Scotland KIND OF GLAD AM A WORKING MAN AND CANNEA AFFORD A TICKET ANYWAY

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