JAMIE RITCHIE has recommitted to Edinburgh by signing “the longest contract in the club’s history”. Scottish Rugby’s secrecy protocols mean that we have not been told how long the deal is for, but it is understood to be for five years.
The 24-year-old joined the club straight out of school seven years ago and made his debut against Leinster in 2014. He has gone on to make 73 appearances for the club and earn 23 caps for his country from a possible 26 Tests since his 2018 debut, establishing himself as one of Europe’s top breakaways and a leading contender for this summer’s Lions tour (if it goes ahead).
The deal comes hot on the heels of fellow international back-row Hamish Watson also agreeing long-term deal with club.
“There’s no two ways about it, this really is fantastic news for the club,” said head coach Richard Cockerill. “Jamie and Hamish are two of best back-row forwards in the game right now.
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“The back-row and their role at the breakdown is so vital in today’s game. Dominance, and at the very least parity, is so often a decisive factor in the outcome of the game, while Jamie’s height and athleticism means he’s also an excellent lineout option.”
“Jamie is an excellent young player with an old head on his shoulders. He has a really bright future ahead of him and we’re delighted he’s signed such a long-term deal.
“His work-rate is immense but it’s the quality of work within that which sets him apart. He’s a fantastic leader on the park and certainly has, in my opinion, the capacity to captain his country in the future.”
Ritchie said: “I’m really chuffed to be staying at Edinburgh. It means a lot to me and my family to know we’ll be here for the foreseeable future.
“I have been at this club since I was 17 and these guys have been like my family since I left school. We have a strong group here and I think we can continue to improve.
“Edinburgh is a great club in a great city with an amazing bunch of boys who work extremely hard. I’m proud of what I have achieved so far in my time at the club and I feel there is so much more to come.
“I want to continue to help improve this club. I think we have made strides in the last few seasons and there’s still lots we can do to get better, on and off the field.
“With the leadership group we have here at the club I believe we can build something special and win silverware.
“We also have brilliant fans who I can’t wait to have back watching us, when we can. This is a big part of the reason why I feel Edinburgh is the place for me to continue my career.
“Scottish Rugby have been hugely supportive of this long-term extension from the get-go, and I’d like to thank them personally for backing me and proving a solid platform from which I’ve been able to grow and develop as a rugby player.
“I look forward to working closely with Scottish Rugby to develop both on and off the field.”
Nothing but positives for this story. He could easily have got more money down south so kudos to all involved.
Accepting that I am not fully au fait with the procedures involved, I don’t quite understand the validity of the ‘let the Pro’s do their Job’ in relation to Dodson, which seems to be the attached to some of the comments regarding the retention of certain players and the acquisition of others.
I am not convinced that Dodson’s presence or influence would have had an effect in the retention of any professional players, anymore in truth as to his influence regarding the departure of Hastings or Duhan van der Merwe although perhaps the exception to that is Russell with the potential animosity that no doubt still festers.
It is the management style and the overall failure to administer Scottish Rugby with any clarity of purpose that earns the criticism of Dodson.
In that respect to paraphrase ‘let the critics do their job’ and keep the Suits in Murrayfield well aware where their responsibilities are: the fabric of the game from the grassroots to the professional, keeping a realistic eye on expenditure within the administration, sales and marketing and not least on bonuses that on the face of it were offered up for no more than ‘doing the job you were employed for’ although there are some that would venture to suggest that there has been more than an obvious inadequacy within that remit.
I see the children who can’t bear to see anyone posting something they don’t agree with are busy during break time!
Great news – can the moaning Minnies please stop! It looks like Edinburgh continue on a roll. Great job Cockers – Edinburgh Pro14 champions in 2021/22??
Just need a real quality attacking 9. Young Horne to move down the road for more game time?
Excellent work by Sir Mark Dodson and the SRU
I don’t care how long exactly the deal is and you rabble and making a fuss out of nothing ‘be happy we have the longest deal in Edinburgh History for a potential lions captain a tour down the line’.
Let the Pros do their Jobs.
Absolutely ridiculous you people are trying to find something to bash them with after this news.
Ooof as a former critic of Mr.Dodson the re-signing of Watson had me on the ropes but this has me cartwheeling. What superb work.
Let. The. Pros. Do. Their. Jobs.
And by God are they doing them well!
Excellent news for Edinburgh
Would be good to cut out the secrecy though.
For an organisation claiming penury recently, all these signings must mean we are in good health. I’m sure the Scottish Government will be paying attention
“Scottish Rugby’s secrecy protocols”
Don’t we know all about them!
Absolutely brilliant,staying together we will have a stronger team
Thank goodness for CVC Capital Partners and the Scottish Government!
Glad you noticed Dodson did a great job with both