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Edinburgh seeing double with Toolis twins signing

Edinburgh assistant coach welcomes Ben (centre) and Alex Toolis (right) to the capital. Picture: Julie Bull

Edinburgh assistant coach welcomes Ben (centre) and Alex Toolis (right) to the capital. Picture: Julie Bull

  • by GARETH BLACK
 

Edinburgh have confirmed the signing of highly-rated 21-year-old twins Alex and Ben Toolis from Queensland Premier Grade side GPS Old Boys, subject to medicals.

The Brisbane-born locks – whose mother, Linda, hails from Carluke in Lanarkshire – come straight from Australia’s national academy programme to join the club’s elite development squad and begin an eight-week pre-season campaign at Murrayfield.

Edinburgh assistant coach Stevie Scott said: “We’re delighted to welcome these two boys to the club, having identified them as hot prospects for the future through their performances in Australia’s top domestic division. They’re both very athletic and mobile, which are important attributes in the modern game.

“I’m looking forward to seeing them in training next week and helping them develop into top players for the club.”

The twins have played for the Old Boys since the age of six and have gone on to represent Australia’s national rugby academy against international development sides in the 2013 IRB Pacific Rugby Cup.

Their careers deviated for the first time in 2010 when Alex committed fully to the oval ball game, and helped the Old Boys lift the Premier Colts Premiership (under-19), while brother Ben concentrated on another sport – touring Thailand and Iran with the national under-18 and under-20 volleyball teams.

Alex said: “It’s fantastic to be here. I’m a bit nervous but really excited to get this opportunity in the home country of my mum, who’s delighted that I’ve come here to play rugby.

“It’s good to get out of my comfort zone. I’m looking forward to working hard to get the most out of the experience, and to do myself and my family proud.”

Ben added: “One of the main reasons I’ve come here is because I want to work hard and play hard.

“It’s how you mature as a player and as a person and it’s an important part of being a good second-row.”

Commenting on their volleyball experience, he added: “I think it really developed our handling skills, especially for lineout and kick-off reception.

“We’re very confident and comfortable in the air while it also helped our leg power, timing and agility.”

Name: Alex Toolis

Position: Second-row

Born: 31/03/1992 in Brisbane

Height: 200cm (6ft 7in)

Weight: 115kg (18st 2lb)

High school: Marist College Ashgrove (AIC Premiership winners)

Junior rugby: Ashgrove GPS

(Premier Colts Premiership winners)

Senior rugby: GPS Old Boys

(Premier Grade semi-finals 2012 & 2013)

Australia national academy

(2013 Pacific Rugby Cup)

Queensland Red A

(2013 IRB Pacific Rugby Cup)

Honours: Queensland state volleyball

Name: Ben Toolis

Position: Second-row

Born: 31/03/1992 in Brisbane.

Height: 200cm (6ft 7in)

Weight: 115kg (18st 2lb)

Junior Rugby: Ashgrove GPS

High School: Marist College Ashgrove

(AIC Premiership winners)

Senior rugby: GPS Old Boys

(Premier Grade semi-finals 2012 & 2013)

Australia national academy

(2013 IRB Pacific Rugby Cup)

Honours: Queensland state, Australia Youth (U18) and Junior (U20) volleyball

 

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