EDINBURGH pulled off a notable coup for the new rugby season by announcing the signing of Scotland’s up-and-coming international stand-off Tom Heathcote from Aviva Premiership side Bath.
Heathcote, 22, had a year left on his existing contract, but Bath said a release had been agreed “to allow him to progress his career and international aspirations”.
Inverness-born Heathcote progressed through Bath’s academy system, making more than 50 first-team appearances and scoring close to 400 points. “This was a really hard decision for me to make,” he told the club’s website. “I’ve played all my senior rugby at Bath and have had some fantastic experiences here. I haven’t been able to get the game time I would have liked this season though, and if I am to push on with my career and playing for Scotland I need to be playing regular rugby.”
Bath head coach Mike Ford added: “He’s a fantastic young player and a true professional at a young age. He was keen to move to help further his international career before the Rugby World Cup, and we didn’t want to hinder his chances of playing for Scotland. I am sure the move will help him reach his full potential, and we wish him all the very best at Edinburgh.”
Edinburgh announced that Heathcote has agreed a one-year contract with them. “Tom joins us with three seasons’ experience in the English Premiership, so I expect him to make a valuable contribution straightaway,” Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons said.
On a busy day for Heathcote, he also revised his involvement in Scotland’s summer tour plans, swapping places on the schedule with Ruaridh Jackson. Heathcote will now be part of the touring squad for matches in Argentina on 21 June and South Africa on 28 June, with Wasps-bound Jackson now in Texas to feature in Saturday’s Test against USA and Canada in Toronto on 14 June.