Currie fly-half Matt Scott joins elite development programme

EDINBURGH have added another talented young stand-off to their squad for next season by signing 20-year-old Currie player Matt Scott for their 'elite development squad' and duly handed the new coaching staff major selection issues.

The club will lose David Blair this summer but expect his younger brother Alex to return from a debilitating back injury in time for the start of next season. Gregor Hunter, who also missed the second half of this term with injury, will be back in harness as will the experienced internationalist Phil Godman, who has been out for most of the season with a knee injury.

With Scotland likely to take only two stand-offs to the Rugby World Cup, with Chris Paterson able to cover the position, Godman is expected to be with Edinburgh at the start of the season. Blair, Hunter and Scott have all shown their versatility in playing at centre and/or full-back in the past and it may be that the development coaches see their future in positions other than stand-off.

There is no doubt either that while all three have areas they need to sharpen up, they all possess genuine quality and the potential to be internationalists. However their future now lies in the hands of Scottish rugby being able to ensure they get the right blend of training and game-time if they are to develop the skills required to control matches at professional level.

Edinburgh are looking to appoint a new coaching team over the next few weeks, but Nick Scrivener and Tom Smith are keen to ensure the best young Scots are given an opportunity next season. It was stated yesterday that Scott will be with the development squad and 'attached' to the Edinburgh professional team, "playing an integrated role in the main squad as well as receiving individual attention from Edinburgh Elite Development coach Bryan Easson and other specialist coaches".

The 6ft 2in Scott, a product of Currie High School, has been an impressive performer with Currie in the league this season and last, and the British and Irish Cup and club international games, and stood out in Scotland teams at age-grade level.

Scott might have been signed last season, but he was keen also to complete a law degree at Edinburgh University, and he will continue his final year studies next season alongside his elite development programme.

He said: "Being part of the Scottish Rugby Elite Development system represents a massive opportunity for me to keep progressing as a player, and I'm thrilled to be aligned to Edinburgh, my home town team. I know I'll take a huge amount from working and training alongside the quality of player that the club has in their squad."