Ben Cairns could earn new deal despite release

SCOTLAND centre Ben Cairns has been released by Edinburgh after a recent injury but, in an unusual move, has the chance to regain his fitness at the club and push for a new contract.

Edinburgh have decided against offering Cairns a new deal after his return in December following nearly 18 months on the sidelines saw him play six games and come off the bench for Scotland A before a fresh knee injury in March necessitated an operation. Cairns joined Edinburgh from Currie in 2006, played over 100 games and earned eight Scotland caps before rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in a knee against Sale in 2011.

Edinburgh Rugby managing director, David Davies, said: “Ben is a quality player of international class and we’ll do everything we can to help him back to full fitness. He’s a local boy who has been a long-standing servant of Edinburgh Rugby, and I believe that commitment merits our efforts to give him the best possible chance of earning a new contract.” Cairns will drop off the payroll, but he is encouraged by Edinburgh leaving the door open.

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“It’s been a frustrating couple of seasons for myself and Edinburgh Rugby, who have been fantastic throughout,” he said. “I’m really grateful for the opportunity to stay part of the squad through rehab.”