Edinburgh Rugby sign Nick Auterac to bolster loosehead prop options
The 29-year-old was a free agent after leaving Northampton and has a wealth of experience in the English Premiership after spells at Saracens, Bath and Harlequins.
He was called into the Scotland squad last summer and worked with Edinburgh coach Mike Blair who had been placed in interim charge of the national side while Gregor Townsend was in South Africa with the Lions.
Unfortunately for Auterac, he missed out on international honours on this occasion because Scotland’s summer schedule was cancelled due to Covid.
Edinburgh moved to sign Auterac after they found themselves short of cover at loosehead towards the end of last season when Boan Venter was injured.
Pierre Schoeman, their first choice in the No 1 jersey, enjoyed an outstanding campaign but Edinburgh struggled when they tried to rest the popular prop, most notably in the Challenge Cup quarter-final loss to Wasps when Schoeman had to be summoned from the bench before half-time to bolster their creaking scrum.
Shortly afterwards, Edinburgh brought forward the signing of loosehead Jamie Jack from Ampthill.
Auterac’s arrival increases Blair’s options and the player believes he can be a “world class scrummager” for Edinburgh.
“Joining Edinburgh is an extremely exciting next chapter for me. The club has been in great form over the last few seasons,” he said.
“The opportunity to play in not only the URC but also the Champions Cup is a challenge I am relishing. As a player, I would like to think my set piece is up there with the best and I believe I can be a world class scrummager.
“I also like to think, for a prop, I am a pretty good runner of the ball with some speed and obviously quite a bit of weight behind me.
“The general high standards of the squad and club was a huge factor in me joining and wanting to develop further as a player. I have also been fortunate to work with Mike Blair in previous Scotland camps, we had a really good relationship and he was another major factor for me signing in Edinburgh.”
Auterac came through the Saracens academy and had loan spells at London Scottish and Bedford Blues before moving to Bath in 2014, helping them reach the 2015 Premiership final. After 46 appearances in four seasons at Bath he signed for Harlequins in 2018 where he spent two campaigns before joining Northampton.
Blair said: “When the opportunity to sign Nick came about, we jumped at it. Having coached him with Scotland, and watched his games in the English Premiership, we know the type of player he is and the added quality he can bring to the squad.
“We’ve got a really talented group of looseheads at the club already with Pierre Schoeman, Boan Venter and Jamie Jack – while Harrison Courtney will once again be with us on a partnership contract – but as we’ve seen with injuries and international call-ups, it’s vital to build a strong squad with players that can step up straight away.
“Nick is a great guy who’ll fit in well with the players and staff here at the club. We’re excited to welcome him to Edinburgh this summer.”
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