Edinburgh have announced that Scotland international Blair Kinghorn will leave the club after next week’s clash with Ulster after a six-figure release fee was agreed.
The versatile back will head to Top 14 side Toulouse – subject to medical – after the Round Seven United Rugby Championship game against Ulster at Kingspan Stadium.
Kinghorn‘s current contract was set to expire in June next year, at which point the fly-half and full-back had already intimated his intention to move to the French outfit.
Fee led to his early release
“Blair is an Edinburgh boy through and through, a home-grown club centurion and Scotland internationalist – he’s certainly the type of quality player we’d have liked to retain in the blue and orange of Edinburgh Rugby,” said senior coach Sean Everitt.
“His intention to leave at the end of his current contract certainly played a part in our decision to agree to his premature release, as well as our well-documented strength and depth in the back-three.
“It was on that basis, we agreed reluctantly to this release in return for payment of a significant sum from Toulouse, which we’ll now consider carefully how best it can be reinvested in the club.
“We wish Blair all the very best in is new challenge in France and thank him for his commitment to the club.”
Edinburgh are fortunate in that they boast plenty of back three talent such as Darcy Graham, Duhan van der Merwe, Emiliano Boffelli and Wes Goosen in their ranks.
However, it will be a blow to see Kinghorn move on as the club centurion will play his 138th game for the Scottish side on home soil against Benetton this Friday evening.
Kinghorn said: “This has been a really tough decision. I’ve called this place home for nine years and have massive loyalty to this club. It gave me everything in my career so far and was the start of my professional rugby journey. I feel like they’ve really got the best out of me.
“Joining Toulouse is an opportunity that’s come forward that I think will be good for me as person, and to develop my career and my game. It’s a big decision, but I feel like it’s the right move for me.
“I’m really grateful to Edinburgh, for seeing this as great opportunity for me to develop personally and as a rugby player, but it is still going to be a sad day.”
It’s been quite a journey
He added on his time at the club: “It’s been quite a journey. When I first signed, we were at Murrayfield, and then Myreside, and now having our own pitch at Hive Stadium is so great.
“It’s really given our supporters a voice to be heard and they make matchday so special. The club has a real home where we can keep building performances because the atmosphere out there is unbelievable.
“The Edinburgh fans have also backed me through thick and thin. There’s been some sticky moments in my career, and they’ve always stuck by me. That’s always something I appreciated. I really hope that continues with the team as I really believe they can go on and do something special.
“It’s been a special journey and one that I’ve loved, and I can’t wait to run out there again this Friday night. It’s going to be really tough to leave, it’s going to be sad to say good-bye, but I’ll leave so grateful for everything here.”