Ewan Ashman signs for Edinburgh

Scotland hooker agrees a four-year deal to move to the capital club from Sale Sharks

Ewan Ashmanduring his Scotland debut against Australia. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Ewan Ashman during his Scotland debut against Australia. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

SCOTLAND hooker Ewan Ashman will join Edinburgh from Sale Sharks this summer on a four-year deal. The 23-year-old, who made his Test debut in 2021 and now has seven caps, previously spent brief spells on loan at both Edinburgh and Glasgow, but has otherwise been with Sale since the start of his professional career.

Ashman was born in Toronto, but qualifies for Scotland as his father was born in Edinburgh, and he explained that he had always felt an affinity with the capital for family reasons. “I’m buzzing to be joining Edinburgh – it’s a team I’ve always supported,” he said on the team’s website. “As a city, Edinburgh has always felt like home. It’s where my family is from and I can’t wait to move back there.

“I loved my short stint at the club when I was younger. It’s a great group of boys and some of my best mates I played with at age grade are now at the core of the squad, which definitely played a factor in my decision to move.

“The ethos and energy around the club was also a big factor as I improved a lot during my time in Edinburgh.

“My spell in 2019 seems a long time ago now. I’m obviously a lot more experienced having run out over 50 times with Sale Sharks in the Premiership and Europe – I’m definitely a smarter player for that.

“But at heart, I’m definitely still the same player. I want to enjoy my rugby, impose myself through physicality and enjoy myself on the pitch.”

Mike Blair, who is set to step down as head coach at the end of this season, said: “Ewan is a top prospect and a player that Edinburgh Rugby supporters should be hugely excited about. He brings a lot of quality to the position and is only going to get better, given his relatively young age.

“It’s brilliant that the club has secured his signing on a long-term deal. He will be a top player for both Edinburgh and Scotland in the seasons to come.”

About Stuart Bathgate 1394 Articles
Stuart has been the rugby correspondent for both The Scotsman and The Herald, and was also The Scotsman’s chief sports writer for 14 years from 2000.

12 Comments

  1. Agree this is a good signing for Edinburgh. I would also agree that Steele is not a great scrum half signing – he is just adding a 4th mediocre scrum half to the other 3. I did have high hopes for Shiel as at times his speed and running ability were tops but perhaps the more fundamental aspects of his game have been deemed below par as he seems to have slipped down the order.

    On a slightly different topic i came across a mention of Sam Grahamslaw who now plays for Jersey Reds and so I had a look at their player pool and found a few other Scots playing for them – Adam Nichol, Stevie Longwell and Hamish Bain. Nichol and Grahamslaw were their starting props last week and saw a video where they were both prominent in a good win. Jersey are 2nd in the Championship which is a tough league – London Scottish are bottom. Just highlights that there is a good outlet for some young guys who didn’t quite make it at Pro level but are still young and may develop playing at this level where they get game time. Who knows Sam may make it back to Top pro level in the future.

  2. The real keys to any team are 2, 8, 9, 10 and at 2 both players are approaching the end of their careers at 8 we seem well served at 9 we need someone with real flair. I question Steele at 29 with a history of injury. I want both Scottish teams doing well so Glasgow have 3 first rate 9’s, Dobie is a hot prospect with little game time – move him down the road. At 10 we’ve recruited Boyle (who knows how that will work out) but we can’t afford Finn’s £850k!! Or even Hastings salary… This allows BK to flourish at 15 where I believe his talents lie. 9/10 has been a huge problem this season lets hope these signings fix it and Ashman proves to be the future at 2.

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  3. Another classic case of the SRU protecting their investment in a player from their youth Pathway who is now struggling for games behind VDM at Sale. This now blocks another homegrown player from getting a chance. Ashman is a good player no doubt but he has stagnated. It shouldn’t be up to Edinburgh to reignite his career but history repeats itself over and over. This should be seen for what it is. A crony appointment undoubtedly driven by Diamond.

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  4. they needed to strengthen scum half> Shiel is not going to cut the mustard I’m afraid. Bench back up at this level. Pyrgos is 34 soon, prob retire. And Vellacott is a pound shop George Horne with less control, worse pass and no game management – another last 20min player at best. Ben White is a good pick.

    Hooker – again McInally aging, loads of injuries including long concussive events, may retire esp as he is unlikely to make the RWC squad. Cherry a good player and the young lad whose name escapes me looks a prospect – so still a hooker short for me, but the money (and Edin are getting loads of it these last 2 seasons) better spent on a 10 (another one) or better still on a good head coach and excellent defence coach – anyone but Diamond

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  5. Can’t believe anyone would quibble at Ashman – he is a top, top signing and with the English Premiership struggling financially I look forward to seeing more of our boys ‘coming home’. McInally and Cherry are both 32 and while they are top players there is the need for succession-planning and investment in the future. When a good one comes along, you do not say ‘oh, let’s wait a couple more years’. Ashman and Harrison have the potential to provide a rock-solid core for years to come and in every way this is a shrewd investment. I do have more a lot more sympathy for those who question the Steele signing, which makes no sense to me on any level. Mediocre by international standards, getting past it and not a feature at his current club. He will not strengthen the Edinburgh squad and Glasgow still has three scrum halves who are better than the four along the motorway. As ever I say that as a Scotland supporter rather than a partisan of either club, both of who I want only the best for.

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  6. Good signing for Scottish rugby – Ashman needs more game time and that can be managed better up here. All our hookers are more towards the latter stages of their careers, so this is needed. In fact I did wonder why Glasgow let Grant Stewart go bearing in mind the concussion histories of Brown and Turner??

  7. Ashman at 23 a good signing for Edinburgh and Scotland with Cherry and McInally both 32 ,and Turner 30 and Brown 33 in Glasgow
    Similarly Steele at 29 a good signing with Pyrgos 33 and not sure if Shiell and Vellacott going to progress further

  8. As a Glasgow supporter I cannot understand the last two appointments made by Edinburgh. The last positions that they needed to strengthen are scrum half and hooker and yet they waste valuable funds on those two positions. What the existing players in those positions will conclude can only damage moral, as if it is not poor enough as it is!!

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    • Maybe some of the current scrum halves and hookers won’t be around next year. In any case players are rarely signed in order of need.

    • they needed to strengthen scum half> Shiel is not going to cut the mustard I’m afraid. Bench back up at this level. Pyrgos is 34 soon, prob retire. And Vellacott is a pound shop George Horne with less control, worse pass and no game management – another last 20min player at best. Ben White is a good pick.

      Hooker – again McInally aging, loads of injuries including long concussive events, may retire esp as he is unlikely to make the RWC squad. Cherry a good player and the young lad whose name escapes me looks a prospect – so still a hooker short for me, but the money (and Edin are getting loads of it these last 2 seasons) better spent on a 10 (another one) or better still on a good head coach and excellent defence coach – anyone but Diamond

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