Lang is honest enough to admit that Richard Cockerill’s sudden departure caused “panic stations”.
“I won’t lie. There were a couple of days when I was in limbo,” said Lang. “I didn’t know who was coming in and I was a little bit agitated. It was panic stations. You sign for a club, for a coach, and then that coach leaves and then what if the next coach comes in and, you know, ‘I am not part of his plans or he doesn’t like me’. That all goes through my mind.
“I messaged my agent and said, ‘Mate, do something! Try and find out who is coming in.’”
The swift appointment of Mike Blair as Cockerill’s replacement allayed Lang’s fears, with the new man well known to the player through his previous role as Scotland assistant coach.
“When Mike got the position I dropped him the message straight away. I got on well with Mike in camp and with Scotland . After that I was buzzing to get started with the team. Under his coaching style the team and myself will really thrive.”
Lang is hoping Blair will play a fast, attacking brand of rugby similar to the one adopted by Harlequins in the second half of last season as they rampaged to a historic Gallagher Premiership triumph.
Much as he enjoyed being a part of the successful Quins squad, Lang was frustrated not to play a fuller part. One of the key motivating factors behind his move to Edinburgh is the desire to establish himself as a regular starting inside centre. Having found himself shunted about in different positions at the Stoop, he is hoping that a run in the No 12 jersey can also enhance his international chances.
“I spent five years at Quins and I loved playing there but it was very stop-start with game time and moving round positions,” he explained. “I had to look at where I would fit and where I would progress the most.
“I have aspirations to play for my country a lot more. In order to do that I have to play in my best position which is centre and I felt making the move to come up here would help me pursue my goals.”
Lang spoke with Gregor Townsend before making the move and will hope to catch the eye of the national coach ahead of the autumn Test series. His last cap came in the narrow home defeat by Wales in February, his only outing in this year’s Six Nations. He was part of the squad for Scotland’s summer tour only for the matches against Romania and Georgia to be called off due to Covid.
Having played his part in Harlequins’ thrilling 43-36 extra-time win over Bristol in the Premiership semi-final, Lang was left out of the squad for the final against Exeter at Twickenham. It was a frustrating moment for the centre and one which helped convince him the move to Edinburgh was the right one.
“I missed out on the final which was a tough pill to swallow really,” he said. “And yeah, that is one of the reasons I want to play more. I haven’t played a great deal at centre over the last two years and I know to play for my country I have to play for my club. I want that. That was a massive factor about leaving. Work my way into a team and this is the place for me to do it.”