SCOTLAND tighthead Simon Berghan will leave Edinburgh for Glasgow at the end of the season as the Warriors continue to rebuild their pack. With loosehead Jamie Bhatti already on his way back to Scotstoun, head coach Danny Wilson will have formidable front-row firepower at his disposal during the next campaign, with Oli Kebble, Fraser Brown, George Turner and Zander Fagerson already in his squad.
Born in New Zealand, the 30-year-old Berghan has 28 caps and has been with Edinburgh since 2014. He is eligible to play for Scotland thanks to a grandfather who was from Stirling.
“Adding a player of Simon’s calibre to our pack is a massive boost for us going into the 2021/22 season,” Wilson said on the Warriors website. “He’s a proven performer at both club and international level, and his work ethic will make him a valuable addition to our front row.”
When Fagerson is available, Berghan is likely to be back-up tighthead – a position he has often fulfilled down the years at Edinburgh, where WP Nel has tended to be first choice. But he is sure to be a valuable squad member nonetheless, especially during the international window on those occasions when he is not required by Scotland.
“Danny gave me a call and outlined what he’s looking to build at Scotstoun over the next few years, and it sounds like a really exciting time to get involved with the club,” Berghan said.
“Everyone talks about the culture of the club, and for my partner and I it seemed like a really sensible and exciting move.
“I’ve got to admit, the Scotstoun crowd is always incredible. Every time I’ve come through as an Edinburgh player the noise has been unbelievable. Players, coaches, even friends and family all talk about how incredible the atmosphere is for a Glasgow home game and I can’t wait to be a part of that in the near future.
“I know a few of the boys from Scotland camps, but I’m also really looking forward to meeting the rest of the squad, as well as the coaches and backroom staff for the first time.
“The quality of the front-row players at Glasgow is unreal. With Jamie coming back to Scotland next season too, you can make two, nearly three, front rows full of international players. There’s going to be a lot of competition for places and a challenge I’m looking forward to. It’s an exciting prospect, and I want to put my best foot forward and show what I’m all about.”
Berghan played for Scotland in the Autumn Nations Cup and was named in Gregor Townsend’s Six Nations squad, but did not feature on Saturday against England, when Fagerson started and Nel came off the bench. His imminent departure from Richard Cockerill’s squad makes it more probable that Nel, 34, will opt to stay with his present team and play on for at least one more season. Edinburgh will still need to sign experienced cover in the position.