Edinburgh bring in veterans as short-term World Cup cover

Stand-off Tom Swiel and back-row Mitch Eadie will bolster depth during the World Cup period

Tim Swiel and Mitch Eadie have signed short-term deals with Edinburgh. Image: Edinburgh Rugby
Tim Swiel and Mitch Eadie have signed short-term deals with Edinburgh. Image: Edinburgh Rugby

EDINBURGH have recruited the experienced duo of stand-off Tim Swiel and back-row Mitch Eadie on short-term deals as World Cup cover, while the likes of Jamie Ritchie, Hamish Watson, Luke Crosbie, Viliame Mata, Ben Healy and Blair Kinghorn are away on international duty.

Swiel, aged 30, has spent time at Western Province, The Sharks, Harlequins, Newcastle Falcons and DHL Stormers, while Eadie, aged 31, has featured for both Bristol and Northampton Saints in the English Premiership.

The duo join the capital outfit with immediate effect, and will now both be embedded with the team as pre-season preparations continue for the upcoming campaign, with Edinburgh set to host Connacht (Friday 29th September) and Bath Rugby (Friday 6th October) at Hive Stadium in Scottish Building Society pre-season friendlies.


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Edinburgh Rugby  today welcomed both players to the club, describing their signing as ‘bringing an excellent level of professionalism and experience to the squad.’

“We’re delighted to welcome both Tim and Mitch to Edinburgh Rugby,” said Senior Coach Sean Everitt. “It’s excellent they’ve been able to get started straight away and I’ve got no doubt they’ll hit the ground running as we continue to build towards the new season.

“Both players bring an excellent level of professionalism and experience to the squad having been involved in pro rugby for a long time, and they’ll both provide competition in two key positional groups.

“I worked with Tim at The Sharks when he first broke into their Currie Cup squad. He’s a really clever player who can help push on a fellow ten, Charlie Savala – a young guy who has also impressed us during this pre-season period.

“Mitch  played for a long time at Bristol and also represented Scotland Under20 in his younger years. He’s a battle-hardened back-row who will bring plenty of grunt, but also some street smarts to our young back-row group.

“With players heading to the Rugby World Cup in their respective positions, it was vital that we were able to bring in guys to compete at the start of the season. We’re really excited to see how both players make their mark in the coming weeks.

English-born, but raised in Cape Town, stand-off Swiel came through the ranks at Western Province, where he represented the regional age-grade sides at U16, U18 and U21 levels.

Swiel joined The Sharks – where he developed his game under Sean Everitt – before making the move to English rugby, signing for Premiership side Harlequins after an initial loan-period at Twickenham Stoop.

Swiel played alongside Edinburgh Rugby’s top try-scorer and club centurion, Tim Visser, as well as current centre James Lang during four years in the English capital, before heading north to join Newcastle Falcons.

The stand-off – who also represented South Africa Schools in his younger years – returned to South Africa in 2020 with DHL Stormers and started in the 20-all BKT United Rugby Championship draw against his new club at Hive Stadium in 2021.

Bristol Rugby through and through, Eadie made over 130 appearances for the West Country side after joining his hometown club at the age of 18.

An age-grade internationalist, Eadie represented Scotland at U20 level, pulling on the thistle 11 times from 2011 to 2013.

The Bristolian’s strong play and revered work ethic saw him earn two Players’ Player of the Season awards from his peers, helping the then-Championship side gain promotion to the Premiership at the end of the 2015/16 season.

The back-row joined Northampton Saints in 2017 – bringing an end to a seven-year stay at Ashton Gate – where he made 27 appearances in three seasons in the Midlands, lifting the Premiership Cup and reaching the final-four of the Premiership in 2018/19.

Eadie returned to Bristol at the start of the 2020 season and has since featured for the Toronto Arrows in the MLR (Major League Rugby).


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About David Barnes 3816 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.

16 Comments

  1. The word ourneyman was created for guys like these. Concur with others – why do we need them and just for a few months? Don’t know how the contracts work but I assume it would be possible to give an S6 player a 3 or 4 month contract and then return him to his club?

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  2. Can’t blame the players for grabbing a final payday but it totally undermines the rational for Super 6. Don’t blame Edinburgh as nothing happens without Murray field sign off. Unless the new coach has gone rougue already. Not a good look. Glad Mr Milne has come out against these ridiculous signings.

  3. Amazing signings.

    In a league without relegation. During a time when the other teams will be without their international players. Followed by mandatory rest periods.

    The player pipeline via Manchester based agents seems to be working fine.

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    • I think you have to be a little careful in how we interpret these signings, if you go along the lines you are suggesting Edinburgh wouldn’t have the coach they have! These will be Edinburgh signings though I disagree with them.

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      • The capability of the coach is still to be demonstrated Iain whichever route he managed to land in Edinburgh.

        Wouldn’t it be refreshing if the famed transparency extended to relationships between employees of Scottish Rugby Ltd and agencies fir players and coaches?

        And if you think that these signings are made by Edinburgh with no input from the SR Exec, I have a bridge to sell you.

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  4. A few years ago there was talk of Mitch Eadie winning caps for Scotland, or as I seem to recall his father being reported as saying ‘maybe even England’. I don’t like that attitude and as it turned out the guy became a has-been who never was, joining Embra from the Toronto Arrows no less! He certainly doesn’t hold a candle to Ben Muncaster, who I’m certain will grab his chance with both hands. Such a fine young player.

  5. The reason Dodson’s S6 exists is for ?
    I thought it was a pathway to pro rugby .
    So the powers that be must deem there’s no players good enough in Super 6 to be given a step up even for a short period to gain valuable experience of what it takes to be a pro player .
    Couldn’t make this up .
    But hey this is Dodson’s SRU world where nothing makes sense

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    • “The reason Dodson’s S6 exists is for ?”

      Him to justify his ludicrous salary. Never mind it’s a farce he can say look I have made changes.

  6. OMG…does this indicate either:

    – the complete failure of our latest version of the player pathway/academy to develop players across positions for whom this would be an ideal next step in their pro development, where journeyman pros are seen as a better option, or
    – a complete absence of forward planning meaning the few players who were suitable were allowed to slip away for better opportunities a few months ago in England, France etc, or
    something amiss inside Murrayfield where pro teams or individuals therein are acting in a silo.

    It beggars belief.

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  7. the SRU are a farce and this is an organisation that was founded in 1873 by the clubs to represent the best interests of the game and those who played it. It is now a commercial organisation with a CEO happy to sell off what ever he can to keep the cash flowing in to pay the excessive wages of himself and his cronies. The members of the unions and the clubs they represent are given lip service and like the councils who sold off their own assets once its gone its gone.

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    • The SRU is not a farce, commercially sound ( better than many other rugby bodies). Scotland squad the best we’ve ever had. Yes they make mistakes and this is one ( is it not Edinburgh as opposed to the SRU). Let’s not kid ourselves the clubs are not doing a great job in offering a product for todays young player, again this is not the SRU.

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  8. Normally I take quite a pragmatic view on our pro clubs signing non Scottish qualified players as often they they have enhanced our teams and passed on knowledge to our younger players. These 2 may do but on the face of it they are journey men and could Edinburgh have not taken a risk with some of our young Super 6/ U20 players. Bruce Houston released by Edinburgh last season has been a class act for Heriot’s Super 6 this season. I await with interest to see how good these players are. 🐻

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  9. What’s the point in having super6/7 when we persist in signing journeymen for our pro teams. Meanwhile we have talented SQ players having to go South to gain game time. It beggars belief!!!

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  10. If only we had a league of players who could jump into the pro ranks after millions being spent on said league….

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  11. Am I the onlyh one who thinks our two pro teams are contractually-bound to sign ageing Non-Scottish Qualified journeymen, so that TCD can boost his pension pot with his back-handers from certain agents.

    Cynical? Moi.

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