Rugby: Young Allan in frame for Edinburgh

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THE way appears to have been paved for Scotland under-20 stand-off Tomasso (Tommy) Allan to join Edinburgh Rugby as he steps up his pursuit of full Test honours.

Until recently the 19-year-old nephew of former Scotland and Springboks hooker John Allan has been playing out of Western Province in South Africa.

However, the decision to list Allan as “unattached” when he gains an 11th under-20 cap against Wales in Inverness on Friday has prompted speculation he will fight it out at 
Edinburgh for the No. 10 jersey alongside Harry Leonard, 
Gregor Hunter and Piers Frances when Greig Laidlaw reverts to scrum half.

Edinburgh are in desperate need of stability at stand-off, as acknowledged recently by departing coach Michael Bradley, who is believed to have lacked SRU support in a bid to sign 
the Argentine cap Ignacio Mieres. However, another possibility is Bath No. 10 Tom Heathcote, who gained his only cap so far as a sub in the defeat by Tonga.

A move north would be an obvious way for Heathcote to put himself in the spotlight and he is gaining mentions today from interim national coach Scott Johnson. Referring to how he has replaced Ruaridh Jackson with Duncan Weir for Saturday’s clash with Wales, Johnson included Heathcote in his remarks. “Ruaridh remains a key part of our squad but he knows, with Tom Heathcote proving a match-winner for Bath and kicking goals from here, there and everywhere, that he needs to up his game too,” said Johnson.

That was a reference to glowing Heathcote performances against London Irish and most recently Gloucester, when one critic claimed the exile “displayed a range of skills not seen from a Scottish No. 10 since Craig Chalmers retired from Test rugby 14 seasons ago.”