Mark Bennett signs on for two more years at Edinburgh

Centre has a chance to push his case for a Scotland recall against Leinster on Saturday evening

Mark Bennett has signed a contract extension with Edinburgh. Image: ©Craig Watson
Mark Bennett has signed a contract extension with Edinburgh. Image: ©Craig Watson

THE uncertainty over who will coach Edinburgh next season has not put Mark Bennett off re-committing to the club, with the centre putting pen to paper on a two-year contract extension.

The Olympic silver medallist (with the Team GB 7s squad in 2016) was named Scottish Building Society Player of the Season for 2021-22, and earned a call-up to Scotland’s summer tour squad, where he played 80 minutes in all three Tests against Argentina, scoring two tries.

He also started against Australia and came off the bench for his 30th cap against New Zealand during the Autumn, but is not currently involved in Scotland’s Six Nations campaign, although he will have a chance to push his case when Edinburgh host Leinster on Saturday evening.

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“I’m absolutely delighted to be staying in Edinburgh. I love it here and there’s nowhere else I’d want to be playing my rugby right now,” said Bennett, who started his rugby journey at Cumnock, then progressed through Ayr to a full-time pro contract with Glasgow Warriors, before moving east in the summer of 2017.

“With the exciting squad we’ve got in place, and a brilliant new home, it’s a real joy to run out every week and represent our supporters.

“I mentioned for a while that perhaps Edinburgh fans hadn’t seen the best of me because of injuries, but it feels now that we’ve got such a great attacking blueprint in place, and one that I can really thrive in moving forward.

“We’ve got a run of huge games to end the season, starting with an unbeaten Leinster side at home this Saturday night,” he added.

“It doesn’t get much bigger than the Irish giants coming to town to play in front of a packed house with our fans behind us. It’s a massive challenge for us, but one we’re all absolutely relishing as a squad.”

Edinburgh Rugby head coach Mike Blair who is stepping down at the end of this season – said: “Mark’s re-signing is really important for the club. His leadership and experience is vital, while his smarts and reading of the game allows us to play with an attacking style that really suits his skillset.

“Mark’s resilience has also been really impressive. There aren’t too many players in rugby who’ve had to work their way back from injuries and setbacks like he has, and that’s credit to his strong will and desire to play the game he loves.

“We were really proud to see Mark pick up last year’s Scottish Building Society Player of the Season, before gaining further international honours in the Summer and Autumn Tests.

“It’s brilliant that he’ll continue playing his rugby in Edinburgh for the seasons to come.”

That was the month that was: February 2023

About David Barnes 4011 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The 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.