EDINBURGH have handed new deals to young scrum-halves Sean Kennedy and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne that will tie them to the Murrayfield club until 2016.
The pair - aged 22 and 20 respectively - are ranked among the brightest young talents in the Scottish game and Gunners coach Alan Solomons has now urged them both to challenge Greig Laidlaw for the capital club’s number nine slot.
Kennedy, cousin of recently re-signed lock Grant Gilchrist, has already deputised for the Scotland half-back this season before a knee injury handed Hidalgo-Clyne his chance to gain some first-team exposure.
Now Solomons has tipped both youngsters to win international honours in future.
He said: “It’s tremendously pleasing to see young Scottish players come through. Sam has progressed tremendously since the beginning of the season.
“He’s had a bit of game time and I think he has a wonderful future ahead of him. It’s fantastic that he’s committed to Edinburgh Rugby.
“Similarly, Sean - who’s a little bit older and more experienced - is also a fine young player and a tremendous prospect. Like Sam, I believe he has the qualities necessary to go on and play Test rugby for Scotland.
“Scrum-half is a key position. It’s vital that we have good depth and we certainly have quality in that area with all available to play for Scotland.”
Kennedy said: “I’m really excited to be offered another extension, especially the way the team is going at the moment. We’re definitely going in the right direction.
“On and of the field we’ve grown as a club. We’re really tight as a group, it’s like a big family and I think you can see that on the pitch.
“There’s a lot of competition and quality at scrum-half, and across the whole squad, so hopefully that will continue to make us better.”
Hidalgo-Clyne added: “It’s fantastic to sign on again. I’ve been involved a lot more than I expected this season, which has been brilliant.
“It’s now up to me to push on as much as I can and compete for the number nine jersey against some quality, experienced players.”