EDINBURGH captain Stuart McInally has put pen to paper on a new long-term agreement that could see him spend the rest of his playing career with the team. Although the exact length of the contract has not been specified, the 29-year-old hooker insisted that staying put was the best option for him in terms of both his present and future professions.
“I’m really pleased to have extended my stay at Edinburgh,” said McInally, who is currently in Spain with the Scotland squad as they prepare for Saturday’s Test against Ireland in Dublin. “The make-up of the squad, from players, strength & condition, medical and coaches is as strong as it’s been during my time here, and I’m excited to be part of an ambitious group moving forward.
“Rugby-wise, I believe this is the best place for me to play and improve to become the best player I can. From an off-field perspective, I have a brilliant support team here in Edinburgh and their help in developing my next career as a commercial airline pilot is invaluable.”
Having made his debut in late 2010, McInally is now in his tenth season as an Edinburgh player and is also tenth at present on the team’s all-time appearances list. He was briefly on loan at Bristol in 2014 after switching from the back row to his current position, but since returning to the capital has become an increasingly influential figure.
“Stuart is an Edinburgh man who loves representing his hometown club,” head coach Richard Cockerill said. “Whether it’s in a match, meeting or training, he leads by example. That leadership and captaincy is vital to this club, and it shows in the respect he commands across the squad.
“We’re delighted that Stuart has re-signed on a long-term deal. He’s another local, Scottish international player who wants to represent this city.”
Edinburgh also announced last week that international second-row Ben Toolis had agreed a contract extension for an unspecified period of time with the club.