Rory Sutherland earns pro contract at Edinburgh

EDINBURGH prop Rory Sutherland will become a full-time professional player on 1 June after being given a two-year contract by the club.

Rory Sutherland has made ten starts for Edinburgh on an Academy contract. Picture: SNS
Rory Sutherland has made ten starts for Edinburgh on an Academy contract. Picture: SNS

The 22-year-old from Hawick joined Edinburgh at the start of the season as a BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy player, and has made ten starts and eight appearances from the bench so far.

Sutherland began as back-row for Hawick Wanderers, moving to prop while in the Scotland under-18 squad and continued in the position while playing for the senior Hawick side.

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After a season with Biggar he moved to Gala and was selected for the Scotland Club XV team in 2014. That led to a trial with Edinburgh and a subsequent two-year Academy contract.

Sutherland said: “I never thought this time last year I’d be where I am today and that I’d have had so much game time – I thought I’d be lucky to come off the bench a couple of times.

“The way the season’s gone has been fantastic, though. I started in the two pre-season friendlies and got plenty of game time. When the Pro12 started I came off the bench a few times – it was a challenge to get up to speed and I found I was struggling those first few games.

“The pace and the physicality were a bit of a shock and it took a bit to get used to the way Edinburgh play. One thing I’ve learned is that knowing your role makes the game a lot easier.”

Sutherland made his first start, however, in round five, away to Ulster, and hasn’t looked back, crossing the line for his first try in December’s home European Challenge Cup pool win over London Welsh.

He said: “I’m learning so much every day and having so much time with the coaches is great. Stevie [Scott] and Alan [Solomons] both say they’re happy with the way I play but I know I still need to fine tune things.”

In addition to catching the eye for Edinburgh, he was included in the extended Scotland squad for this RBS Six Nations, as 24th man for the Italy game.

He said: “It was an amazing experience and great to be able to take in the atmosphere. I knew there was only a slim chance I’d be involved but it was great to be part of the captain’s run and all the build-up.”

Sutherland’s two-year Academy contract, which was due to run until May 2016, has been superseded by his full-time professional contract.