Coffee break for Damien Hoyland as he returns to the day job with Edinburgh
The winger has had to delegate the flat whites as he concentrates on the day job, helping the capital club make a promising start to the new United Rugby Championship season.
Hoyland scored a try as Edinburgh beat Dragons on the opening weekend then grabbed another in the agonising defeat by the Bulls in Pretoria last Saturday.
It’s a far cry from last season when more often than not the 28-year-old was spending match days serving coffees from his ‘Damo’s Coffee’ trailer behind the Murrayfield Stand as he recovered from injuries.
Having missed a large chunk of the 2020-21 season with damaged ankle ligaments, Hoyland suffered a meniscus tear in his left knee last November and was out for over five months. He returned at the beginning of May and made up for lost time, earning a new contract at Edinburgh and winning a place on Scotland’s tour of South America.
“I’m delighted, touch wood, that I’ve started the season injury-free,” said Hoyland. “I’m just loving being able to train and play after so many seasons of not being available.
“It’s definitely a win for me just to be fit. I’m quite hard on myself but I feel that I’ve got a lot to give and a lot to offer. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and putting out what I know I’m capable of doing.
“As far as the coffee stand goes, I do have some people lined up to look after it. But there’s always work available if that’s something anyone is interested in!”
Edinburgh round off their mini-tour to South Africa this Saturday against the Stormers, the team that eliminated them in the URC quarter-finals last season before going on to beat the Bulls in the final.
It’s a tough test but Mike Blair’s side rose to the challenge last weekend and were unfortunate not to come away with more than a couple of bonus points. They scored five tries against the Bulls, with Darcy Graham collecting a hat-trick, taking him up to five in two games. Hoyland believes the two wingers can spur each other on.
“There’s a lot of competition there,” he said. “Darcy has been incredible hasn’t he? In such good form. And I feel that brings out the best in me as I want to have the same amount of tries as him. That brings out the best in me in training and hopefully in games as well.
“We’ve not had any chats about a competition yet but maybe that will have to come up at some point. But it would be unfair to start a competition now when Darcy’s three tries ahead of me! He’s got an unfair head start if we’re going to start any bets. I’m going to have to say to the others to stop passing to him all the time and give me more of the ball!”
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