Edinburgh complete ‘#MagicMonday’ signing blitz with two-year deal for Hamish Watson

Fijian flyers Kalione Nasoko and Eroni Sau, South Afrcian hooker Mike Willemse and Bristol Bears back-row Nick Haining have also been recruited

Hamish Watson
Hamish Watson was the fifth and final name to be unveiled as having committed to Richard Cockerill's team for next season on #MagicMonday Image: Fotosport/David Gibson

EDINBURGH completed their ‘#MagicMonday’ blitz of player signing announcements by confirming that international flanker Hamish Watson has agreed a two-year contract extension which will keep him at the club until at least the summer of 2021.

“I couldn’t see myself playing anywhere else in my career,” said Watson. “I love it in Edinburgh. The playing group we’ve got, and are building, is absolutely amazing. We’ve got a great coaching staff and I want to win something with Edinburgh. If that takes two years or ten years, it doesn’t matter. This group of players and coaches is going places and I love the direction that the club is moving in.”

Watson’s recapture is the fifth and final name to be revealed over the course of the day and the only re-signing of current player, with the other four being players joining the club from elsewhere. All five players have signed two-year deals.

The new signings are –

  • Hamish Watson, who has been capped 25 times by Scotland, most recently in the team’s sensational Calcutta Cup draw against England last week.

Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill said –

“Hamish is one of the most exciting back-row players in the country, so it’s fantastic that he’ll be representing this club for years to come. He’s a leader in the changing room and is so often a match-winner on the field. We’re looking forward to watching him develop further and hopefully bring success to this city.”

  • Fiji Sevens captain Kalione Nasoko, a 6ft 3in and 92kg winger (who can also play outside-centre).

Cockerill said –

“Kalione is a tremendously exciting player who is obviously captain of the Fiji Sevens side. He’ll predominantly play as a winger, but he has also played at 13. He brings something different to our back-three. He gives us a little bit more of an x-factor and, as you see with the good teams around Europe, you need that type of threat.”

  • Perpignan wing Eroni Sau, who has also performed with distinction for Fiji on the international Sevens circuit.

Cockerill said –

“Anyone who has watched sevens will know Eroni Sau,” said Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill. “He’s a very strong and powerful runner, he’s tough and very combative. A nickname like ‘The Sledgehammer” gives you an idea of what he does with and without the ball, and I’m delighted he’s chosen to join Edinburgh and be part of what we’re building here for next season and beyond.”

  • Former South Africa Under-20s hooker Mike Willemse from Guinness PRO14 rivals Southern Kings.

Cockerill said –

“Mike has got a lot of experience in Super Rugby. He’s a very competent hooker that plays in the style of Stuart Mclnally. He’s all-action, very good over the ball and extremely dynamic. Similar to the South African boys already in the team, we expect him to make a big impression on the squad.

“We’re delighted to have him. We’ve got a good selection of Scottish hookers, but Mike is a guy who’ll be with us all year round and will no doubt push everybody to the next level.”

  • Australian-born Nick Haining, a 6ft 4ins and 115kg back-row from Bristol Bears.

Cockerill said –

“Nick is someone I’ve been looking at for a while. He’s Australian, but Scottish qualified. He’s a big boy, carries the ball very well and is a good footballer. He’ll add some further strength in depth in that back-row where we’ve got a lot of internationals. He’s a very good player and he’s keen to put his hand up and try to push himself into the national squad as well.”

Portobello support the campaign to end cash only rugby bars


About David Barnes 4004 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.