Planet Rugby

Backline trio commit to Edinburgh

08th April 2014 11:00

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Staying put: Tom Brown

Scotland internationals Jack Cuthbert, Tom Brown and Dougie Fife have extended their deals with Edinburgh for two years.

The players join fellow Scots caps David Denton, Ross Ford, Matt Scott, Alasdair Dickinson, Grant Gilchrist and Greig Tonks - as well as burgeoning talents Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Sean Kennedy - in extending their club contracts this season, while young Scots Michael Tait (23), Chris Dean (20) and Damien Hoyland (20) are already among this coming summer's new recruits.

"Attracting and retaining quality Scottish players is absolutely critical for us, and is central to our vision, so it's fantastic news for the club that these three have re-signed," said head coach Alan Solomons.

"All of them have played an invaluable role in the progress we have made at the club and it's terrific to see them commit to Edinburgh for a further two seasons.

"We have good synergy and spirit in our squad, which is vital to realise our vision and build a sustainable club."

Man of the match in the last week's 23-19 win over Dragons at Rodney Parade, Cuthbert has made 23 appearances for the club since he joined from Bath last summer.

He came through the ranks on Scotland's age-grade and exile programme, before earning selection for Scotland's 2011 Six Nations campaign.

Cuthbert did not make an appearance during the championship but was named in the provisional squad for the 2011 World Cup, and made his Scotland debut off the bench against Ireland in their first warm-up match in August that year.

"I'm really happy to extend my time at Edinburgh, especially with the game time and the way I feel I've played this season," said Cuthbert.

"I think the club is going in a good direction and it's great to be part of a team that's so young and so eager to keep improving.

"We've got a really good group here and I think we're building something special.

"It's just going to take a bit more grit, with some tough months to come as we look to take the club in a positive direction."

Fife - who won his first Scotland cap against Wales in the 2014 Six Nations - and Brown - capped in Scotland's historic away win over Australia in 2012 - have both come through the region's performance pathway.

Fife, 23, was one of the stand out developments of the 2012/13 season as he worked his way into contention in one of the most competitive areas of the squad.

This season he has since built upon his growing reputation, became a first team regular for the club under Solomons, and enjoyed his most prolific spell in black and red - scoring five times in seven matches.

Unfortunately the 23 year-old sustained ligament damage to his hand in March, during his 20th start in as many appearances this season, bringing a premature end to his best senior campaign to date.

"I'm delighted to extend my contract," said Fife.

"As a local boy from Edinburgh I get a real buzz when I play for the club. It's a huge honour to play for your local team, a team that I've watched since I was at school.

"Every year this club has helped me develop so much, and I feel that the coaches we have will help me take another step forward in the coming season.

"There's a real family vibe among the squad, we're all mates at and outside of rugby, and that helps because you're out there playing for each other, you really dig deep."

Brown, who turned 24 last week, made his Edinburgh debut in September 2010, and earned a two-year contract extension the following year.

His club success soon translated into the beginning of his international cap career, with a starting spot in Scotland A's 35-0 win over England Saxons at Netherdale in 2012, followed by a full Scotland cap call in the Australia match.

Despite intense competition in the club's back-three berths, Brown has shaken off an early-season ankle injury to hold a regular place in the squad, passing a half-century of club appearances earlier this year.

"I'm from Edinburgh and this is where I've always wanted to play so I'm delighted to be staying on. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else," said Brown.

"I've been really happy at the club and I really like the way that we're playing. We have some really good players in key positions and we're a real tight-knit team.

"The coaches have brought a really good structure to our game. The players are buying into it and I think that, together, we'll make strides in the coming months and years."

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