EDINBURGH have published their definitive list of players who will be leaving at the end of the season. In addition to the high-profile departures previously announced, Richard Cockerill’s team have confirmed that stand-off Simon Hickey is off, as is winger/full-back Dougie Fife. Hooker Cammy Fenton and stand-off Jason Baggott are also leaving, as are locks Sam Thomson and Stan Scott.
Cockerill explained last week that Hickey had already returned to his native New Zealand as his father was ill. It had looked likely for some time before then that the 26-year-old would leave in search of more regular rugby than he was able to get during his two years at Murrayfield.
As a former New Zealand Under-20 captain, Hickey arrived at Edinburgh in the summer of 2018 with an impressive reputation, and was expected to become the team’s starting 10. But Jaco van der Walt rose to the challenge, and latterly was seen as the head coach’s first choice. Confirmation of Hickey’s departure means that as things stand Van der Walt is the only senior fly-half in the squad, although Cockerill has declared an interest in Worcester’s Jono Lance as well as Scotland Under-20 cap Nathan Chamberlain.
Fife, who has eight Scotland caps, made his Edinburgh debut nine years ago. He had a spell with the Scotland Sevens squad, but returned to his hometown team three years ago.
Fenton joined in 2017, having previously been part of the Glasgow Warriors squad. Baggott joined a year later from Melrose, where he had been a key player, but he was unable to force his way into the Edinburgh squad on a regular basis. Thomson signed up at the start of this season and has played eight times, while his fellow-lock South has made a single appearance since signing on a short-term loan from Exeter.
Leicester Tigers confirmed yesterday that they have signed Scott for next season, while Cockerill revealed last week that Barclay is leaving. It was confirmed in March that Ceccarelli would be leaving for Brive.
“This period of the season is never easy for players – even more so in these unusual times – but all move on with our utmost respect for their hard work and commitment during their time at Edinburgh,” Cockerill said. “These guys all leave having given their all to the club and that’s all we can ever ask.
“It’s been a pleasure to coach them and we thank them for their professionalism and attitude. We wish all our leavers the best of luck in their future ambitions.”
Edinburgh’s departures, summer 2020
Jason Baggott (1 appearance)
John Barclay (14)
Pietro Ceccarelli (24)
Cammy Fenton (19)
Dougie Fife (125)
Simon Hickey (34)
Matt Scott (94)
Stan South (1)
Sam Thomson (8)
Surprised Fife is not wanted on voyage.