Edinburgh seek short-term fix to cover Rory Sutherland exit

Edinburgh Rugby are looking to sign a replacement for Rory Sutherland but the new man is likely to arrive on a short-term deal only.

Rory Sutherland, who toured with the British and Irish Lions, has left Edinburgh to join Worcester. Picture: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Sutherland, the Scotland and Lions prop, joined Worcester Warriors last month despite former Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill insisting the loosehead would be staying in the capital.

Cockerill has since left the club and been replaced by Mike Blair who is hoping to augment his front-row options before the new season kicks off.

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“I think Mike has been quite open in that he has been looking at the loosehead position, following Rory Sutherland’s departure,” said Douglas Struth, Edinburgh’s managing director. “That is something we’ll look to address in really short order. I think we’ll probably address it in terms of a short-term deal, though. The reason for that is that it comes back to Mike actually seeing the squad in action. There is no point in jumping a two- or three-year contract at somebody if that’s not the right thing for the ’22-23 season and beyond.”

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Edinburgh have three looseheads on the books - South African pair Peirre Schoeman and Boan Venter and Scotland under-20 international Sam Grahamslaw. Schoeman, who is now Scotland-qualified, has been a mainstay of the Edinburgh pack for the past three years and captained the club last season. However, Sutherland’s departure leaves a big hole which Blair will bid to fill.

“I think we’ll probably look at a short-term deal, maybe up to Christmas,” added Struth. “That then allows us to have that cover in the position and have four looseheads, with Schoeman, Venter and Grahamslaw in there as well.”

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