Playmaker Jason Tovey seizing his chance with Edinburgh

Edinburgh's Jason Tovey. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS/SRU
Edinburgh's Jason Tovey. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS/SRU
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Edinburgh’s favourite Welshman Jason Tovey has had to bide his time this season, sitting on his hands while others started the first four league matches and having to content himself with a couple of appearances off the bench.

Still, it seems to have honed the stand-off’s hunger for the fight because he hit the ground running in Dublin last Friday
against Leinster, pulling the strings beautifully as the visitors matched their hosts in most departments before scoring a cracking interception try from inside his own half after anticipating a Johnny Sexton pass to perfection.

“It was pretty expected [the wait for a start] to be fair,” says Tovey, pictured, who will hope to continue where he left off when Edinburgh host Zebre at Myreside tomorrow. “I had shoulder surgery at the end of last season so I missed the first pre-season game and expected not to play too much rugby in the first couple of games.

“I got my chance against Leinster, personally things went well, obviously we didn’t get the result, but we are working towards that.”

On his try he added: “I didn’t think it was that far at the time, but then when I looked I thought, ‘oh there is quite a way to go,’ and I looked round for the wingers and no one was there so I just pinned the ears back and luckily got to the line.”

He showed the sort of speed that saw him represent Wales on the wing at under-20 level, with neither Leinster speedster able to get close to him over the 50-plus metres sprint.

Tovey has been a good signing and is a typical Welsh playmaker, full of invention and comfortable on the ball who likes to back himself. Great things were expected of him in his early years but he has since been overshadowed by rivals in his homeland, which is why he looked north where Edinburgh are showing signs of life.

“You can see a big step forward,” says Tovey. “It is not going to change overnight, but I have certainly seen it getting better. We go into every game wanting to win and although the last three defeats haven’t helped we are building still game by game. If we can beat Zebre and then get a nice fresh start in Europe you know we can go again.”

His cause has been helped by having the likes of James Johnstone and Robbie Fruean outside him and Edinburgh’s attacking strength will only improve even further with Mark Bennett back on the field.