Edinburgh extend Toolis stay

Date published: December 24 2015

Lock Ben Toolis has committed his future to Edinburgh with a two-year contract which takes him through until 2018.

He said: “I love the way the club’s going, the boys respect Alan [Solomons] as a coach – I think he’s brought in the right players and has the right coaching staff around him.

“Last season we ended up getting to a European Final and winning the 1872 Scottish Cup which was really exciting and very promising for the club. I think we’re getting more competitive every year and I really want to be part of it.”

Toolis, who hails from Brisbane and tips the chart at 200cm, joined the club’s Elite Development Player programme alongside twin brother Alex, in 2013 and earned a full pro contract in 2014.

Having made his debut off the bench against Ulster in season 2013/14. He scored his first try for the club in the home European Cup semi final win over Dragons in 2015. An outstanding performance throughout that game earned him man of the match.

Named in the Scotland squad for the 2015 Six Nations – his mum hails from Carluke –  he made his international debut off the bench against Italy at BT Murrayfield in February 2015 and was included in the extended squad for the Rugby World Cup.

He added: “Coming over here from Australia it was a completely different environment so finding my feet here, getting game time, being able to take my opportunity and playing with the boys day in day out has been something special.

“There’s such a good team ethos here at the club.

“In some teams there may be one or two people you don’t get along with but everyone here at Edinburgh gets along so well, they’re here to help each other out, everyone respects each other as players and that’s what you need in a team to be successful.

“It’s definitely the one of the best teams I’ve been involved in."

Toolis’ season was curtailed during the PRO12 Round 2 game against Treviso in September, with an elbow injury, though his recovery has progressed well and he returns to the bench this weekend against Glasgow in the 1872 Scottish Cup, looking to earn his 30th Edinburgh cap.

“I can’t stop thinking about getting back out on the field. Having an injury second game into the season was frustrating. I’ve worked really hard to get back, especially to be back for these two derby games," Toolis explained.

“I’m happy and proud to be back on the bench this week and hopefully get good game time and kick on from there.

“Everyone realises how important the big derby game is to the supporters – you can see the emotion and passion from everyone going into this match, especially starting off at Murrayfield on Sunday in front of a record-breaking crowd.

“Everyone’s definitely up for it – we can’t wait.”

Head coach Alan Solomons said: "Ben has made huge strides with his rugby over the past year, becoming a regular for the club and being capped by Scotland.

“I am delighted that he has elected to continue his progress with the club and have no doubt that he will be a major contributor in the years to come. He is a terrific bloke and I am pleased that we will continue working together."