EDINBURGH’S preparation for next season has been dealt a blow with the news that Australian stand-off Jono Lance has failed to secure the UK visa he required in order to join the club.
The 29-year-old, who is currently back in his home town of Canberra seeing out the Covid-19 crisis, was recruited last month by head coach Richard Cockerill to provide experienced back-up to Jaco van der Walt at the capital club. However, it seems that his failure to play the requisite number of games for Worcester Warriors whilst with the English Premiership club during the last three seasons contributed to his visa application being declined.
Now, with Simon Hickey and Jason Baggott having been released this summer, Edinburgh are desperately thin on the ground in the key playmaker position. Nathan Chamberlain, who starred for Scotland during this season’s Under-20s Six Nations, is the only other specialist option at No 10 as it stands, while Blair Kinghorn has also played in that position in the past but is mainly viewed as a full-back these days.
A statement issued by the club said:
Edinburgh Rugby can confirm that the signing of stand-off Jono Lance will not go ahead.
Lance was due to join the squad next month, subject to obtaining the right to work in UK – and the signing was initially communicated in May. However, the player has been unable to obtain a UK Visa.
The club wishes Jono all the best in his future ambitions and thanks him for his professionalism during this period of uncertainty regarding his signing with the club.
Lance has now signed a short-term contract to play for Queensland Reds in the Vodafone Super Rugby AU competition (involving the five Australian franchises as the first step back to full rugby after the Covid lockdown) which kicks off at the start of July.