EDINBURGH have signed loose-head prop Jamie Jack from English Championship side Ampthill Rugby with immediate effect. The 25-year-old, who is a former member of the Leicester Tigers academy and previously played for Nottingham, was initially lined up for a summer switch to the Scottish capital but an earlier move north has been negotiated in response to minor front-row injury crisis in Mike Blair’s squad.
“We’re delighted that Jamie has been able to join us early and we’re grateful to Ampthill who’ve allowed him to get started straight away,” said the head coach. “Jamie has had a lot of game time in the Championship this past season – a league which is obviously really big on set-piece – and comes through as one of the strongest scrummagers at the loosehead position.
“With the injury to suffered to Boan (Venter) last month, we’re obviously a bit light up front, so it’s great that Jamie can come in and help push on the other young looseheads at the club in Harrison Courtney and Sam Grahamslaw.”
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Jack said: “I’m really excited to get started. It’ll be great getting back into a full-time environment and to get the chance to do it with Edinburgh is a big honour. It was an opportunity I jumped at.
“It’s clear from speaking to a few people who have been in and around the club that Mike, Stevie and the coaching team have made it a great environment to be a part of and I’m really looking to getting involved.
“Edinburgh is obviously a club with a great history and they’ve had had a great season. With such an experienced playing group and coaching staff, I think it’ll be a really good place to test myself. Having the opportunity to play in the URC against some of the biggest teams in Europe and South Africa will be a great challenge.
“I’ve been up to Edinburgh a few times before so to be able to play in such an amazing city is a huge pulling factor as well.
“I’d like to think I’m a very set-piece orientated prop. I’m very attack-minded at scrum time, so being able to work with the calibre of front rowers at the club can only bring that part of my game on further.
“But I also like to get my hands on the ball around the park, which will hopefully suit Edinburgh’s style of play and I’ll be able to contribute well.”
Why not do what several Governing Bodies of Sport did pre 2012 Olympics? They went out into the community and actively identified young people against a set of criteria in “come and try it” sessions. Quite a few current successful athletes were identified this way.
I’m not saying that kids should be thrown into a scrum but the physical and mental attributes needed to come a player could be identified and taken from there.
To paraphrase…if props won’t come to rugby then rugby needs to go to them just not necessarily through the current pathways.
Just a thought!
Regards MB’s comment – I am not familiar with the 3 names from Super 6 but of those brought in to the pro teams only Boan Venter could be considered a top class prop although he’s clearly South African and not sure if hell ever be around long enough to be Scottish qualified.
Prop is and probably always has been a problem position for Scotland with not a lot of depth in our pool. I don’t know what the answer is to producing home grown props – you need to have the basic size and strength to develop and it just seems like we don’t produce many that fit the bill. I can only assume the home grown names earlier are not quite making the standard. Just look at the Edinburgh squad alone with Nel, Schoeman, Venter and de Bruin – all SA born and the top 4 props in the squad.
Welcome Jamie. Personally hope his time goes well and he grabs this opportunity to keep building his career.
But I wonder what they make of the signing in Linlithgow, Caithness and Biggar? Their sons, Ross Dunbar, Shaun Gunn and Andrew Nimmo keep plugging away at Super 6, and have watched a succession of lads brought in from beyond Scotland to fill prop places in the pro squads….Jack Stanley, George Thornton, Boan Venter, Harrison Courtney, Charlie Capps, Nathan MacBeth, Sam Grahamslaw, Tom Lambert. None of them capped by Scotland yet, so not proved hugely better than the lads brought up in Scotland. Hope we give them opportunities at this level eventually too.
If they’re not being given a chance to fill the void in pro teams
By Being overlooked bringing in Journeymen from elsewhere
They must be deemed not good enough
then what is the point of Super 6