STAND-OFF Blair Kinghorn will join Edinburgh on a two-year contract following his return from this summer’s World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Italy, the club have announced.
Kinghorn was included in the Scotland under-17 squad last season and played in all Scotland’s under-18 fixtures this year before being named in the under-20 squad for next month’s tournament.
“I’ve been doing kicking practice at BT Murrayfield with Chris Paterson which has been great – he’s someone I’ve really looked up to, growing up”Blair Kinghorn
The 18-year-old said: “I spent time with Edinburgh before I went to the FIRA championship [with Scotland under-18] and that was a really good experience. Everyone was really welcoming and friendly. It’s a great environment to be going into.
“It’s been really good to see the club do so well over the back end of the season, with their form in the Pro12 and the Challenge Cup final at the weekend.”
The Edinburgh Academy pupil and current captain of the school’s 1stXV started playing aged ten, after an earlier fascination with football.
He said: “When I was younger, football was my main interest, then I started to play rugby at school. Some of my mates went to play for Currie so I went along with them, then things escalated at under-16 level. I began playing for the school first XV and since then it’s been my goal to play professionally.
“I’ve been doing kicking practice at BT Murrayfield with Chris Paterson, too, which has been great – he’s someone I’ve really looked up to, growing up.”
The Scottish Institute of Sport supported athlete, who was a National Youth League Cup winner with Currie at under-16 level and formerly a member of Heart of Midlothian FC’s Youth Academy, credits his parents for his athletic genes.
He said: “I’ve got two sporty parents which has helped. My dad’s game was football and my mum played netball – and I also play cricket and a bit of golf.”
Kinghorn made a flying start in the Scotland under-18 shirt, scoring an impressive solo try, two conversions and a penalty in his debut against England, at Kingston Park. In the following tie, he put in a man-of-the-match performance as his side recorded a 21-13 victory over Ireland Schools at Mayfield, Dundee before progressing to the three FIRA tournament fixtures against France, Portugal and Ireland.
His recent inclusion in the Scotland under-20 squad will be a further learning experience, off the pitch as well as on.
He said: “I’m in my last year at school and I’ll be sitting exams while I’m out in Italy, too. I’m doing Advanced Higher Modern Studies and A level Geography.”
After some time off following the World Championship, Kinghorn will join Edinburgh at the start of August.