Henry Pyrgos thriving after switch from Glasgow to Edinburgh

Edinburgh scrum-half Henry Pyrgos. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU
Edinburgh scrum-half Henry Pyrgos. Picture: Gary Hutchison/SNS/SRU
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Scrum-half Henry Pyrgos admits he received a bit of “banter” from his new team-mates after crossing the 1872 Cup divide in the summer but is relishing a new chapter to his career in the capital.

Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill made it clear at the end of last season that, with the departure of Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, he wanted one of Glasgow’s trio of international No 9s to make the move to the capital. In the end, it was 29-year-old, 27-times capped Pyrgos who made the switch.

The Dorset-born man has swiftly claimed the starting jersey and is viewing the move, after eight years with Glasgow, as a fresh start.

“It was quite a quick transition, but when I got here the players and coaches have just been really welcoming,” he said. “It’s been a really easy environment to come into and I’ve enjoyed it.

“Coming from Glasgow you get a bit of banter and stick from the boys and stuff, but once you get down to it it’s the same sort of stuff. I try to just get my head down and work hard. It’s a really hard-working group of players and coaches here, and it’s easy just to get on with that, really, and focus on games each week. Pre-season is not that much fun, but you get stuck in. You can see that this squad is really trying to build and keep pushing on week on week.”

Recent west-to-east moves haven’t been without their problems, with stand-off Duncan Weir jettisoned to Worcester and centre Mark Bennett enduring more injury misfortune.

“I don’t think you really think like that,” said Pyrgos of previous problems with players who made the move. “I’m confident in what I can do. I came here just trying to work hard.

“I think that’s the perception on the outside that maybe things don’t work out. Personally you get stuck in, as I’ve said, and focus on the rugby. I’ve been fortunate to get some game time, so yeah, it’s not something I’ve thought too much about.”

After serving as Scotland vice-captain at the 2015 World Cup and skippering the land of his Grangemouth mother and Dundonian grandparents on occasion, Pyrgos has slipped a bit in the Test scrum-half pecking order, but believes being No 1 at Edinburgh boosts his chances ahead of next year’s World Cup.

“Yeah, that was the reason [I moved]. I mean there was an option to come to Edinburgh, I wasn’t playing as much as I’d have liked,” said Pyrgos who was battling with Ali Price and George Horne at Scotstoun.

“I really enjoyed my time at Glasgow but that was the decision I made and I’ve just got on with it.”

Pyrgos admitted that there had been some tough inward looking in the wake of last Friday’s shaky 31-30 home win over Benetton and predicted a more polished performance against the Cheetahs in the Pro14 tomorrow evening.

“I think it’s always pretty honest,” said Pyrgos of the debrief. “Cockers doesn’t beat around the bush; he’s pretty straight-talking. I think that’s the only way you get better.”