Edinburgh to release three stand-offs

EDINBURGH Rugby have announced the summer departure of three of their stand-offs - Harry Leonard, Piers Francis, and Gregor Hunter.

Harry Leonard in action for Edinburgh in 2011. Picture: Ian Rutherford

Former Scotland Under-20 captain Leonard is joining Leeds Carnegie in search of a regular starting spot, while Hunter and Francis will leave the club following injury-hit campaigns.

Brighton-born Leonard told Carnegie’s official website: “It will be a good opportunity for me to get more consistent game time. The ambition and aspirations that Leeds has going forward impressed me as well as the great facilities available to train and play in.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

“Hopefully things will go well for the rest of the season and the play-offs and we can get into the Premiership, but if not, I am looking forward to the chance to help the team get up next season. It is a young team and I am looking forward to being part of that.”

The 21-year-old has made 37 appearances for Edinburgh, including 25 starts, but head coach Alan Solomons has backed his move.

Solomons, who brought in South African number 10 Carl Bezuidenhout on an extended trial basis at the turn of the year, told Edinburgh’s website: “This is the right decision for Harry at this stage in his career, where he will be guaranteed to start at stand-off.

“He has made a good career decision which will, I believe, stand him in good stead in the future.”

Hunter made 16 appearances but a knee injury has ruled him out for the whole season while Englishman Francis has recently returned to training following a pre-season foot injury.

Solomons said: “It’s been a tough year for Gregor and Piers. They’re both great blokes but unfortunately got injured early in the season and have been unable to play during my time at this club.”