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Sean Kennedy signs first pro deal with Edinburgh

Sean Kennedy, helping his Edinburgh side to a win over eventual PRO12 finalists Ulster earlier this year. Picture: SNS

Sean Kennedy, helping his Edinburgh side to a win over eventual PRO12 finalists Ulster earlier this year. Picture: SNS

  • by GARETH BLACK
 

HIGHLY-rated Scotland A scrum-half Sean Kennedy has signed his first senior professional contract with Edinburgh Rugby – a deal which will keep him with the club until 2015.

The news is a significant boost to Edinburgh ahead of next

season, with the 22-year-old having excelled while drafted to Glasgow Warriors as injury cover last season. The former Scotland age-grade and sevens internationalist has been aligned to Edinburgh as part of the national elite development programme (EDP) and his success with Glasgow paved the way for his inclusion in Scotland’s pre-2013 Six Nations training camp.

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Kennedy’s talent was underlined by an excellent display in his first senior representative match for Scotland A in the win over England Saxons at Kingston Park and a trio of appearances for Edinburgh since his return from the west to Murrayfield.

He said: “I’ve come through the age-grades on the EDP programme and have kept working and developing from there. It’s another step in the right direction for me as a player and I’m really enjoying it.

“The experience I gained from last season was invaluable. As an EDP player all you want is

game time and I got more than I expected, which was brilliant. I was surprised to be named in the Scotland training squad but I never felt out of place. To train with the squad and start for Scotland A was incredible.

“As a senior player, more is now expected of me off the field, like helping the younger players find their feet, especially as I’ve just come out of the EDP programme. I want to lead by example. But nothing changes in terms of how hard I work or how much I want to improve. I always want to be better, challenge and become the starting nine.”

While Edinburgh endured a disappointing season last time out, Kennedy said: “When you look at the squad there are some great players.

“We all know we’ve a tough pre-season in store but I can’t wait to get the boots on and get out there.”

The former Lornshill Academy pupil took his first steps in rugby with St Mary’s RFC in Limerick before joining cousin and fellow Edinburgh player Grant Gilchrist, at Alloa and Stirling County, lifting the 2009 National under-18 Youth Cup with the Bridgehaugh club.

He went on to represent Scotland at every age-grade from under-17 to under-20, featuring in all five 2010 IRB Junior World Championship matches before his progression to the senior ranks.

Interim Edinburgh Rugby head coach Stevie Scott said: “We’re delighted have secured the services of such a promising home-grown talent.

“Sean’s full-time signing means we now have fierce competition in a crucial position, with captain Greig Laidlaw also under pressure from Chris Leck, Alex Black and Sam Hidalgo-Clyne.”

 

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