Time for a first detailed look at the ‘Official’ On Top Of The Moon Depth Chart for Edinburgh Rugby 2018/19. After a busy summer of ins and outs (analysed here) the squad looks to be the strongest seen in the capital for many a season.
Here is the full OTOTM Depth Chart (click for large version):
Main squad facts and figures
- There are currently 45 full-time pros confirmed for this year’s squad (plus 14 Scottish Rugby Academy stage 3 players).
- That compares to 42 + 14 that the club started last season with.
- In 2017/18 Dougie Fife and James Johnstone moved over full-time from Scotland 7s once the season had begun; Jaco van der Walt was a late arrival; Cameron Fenton and Luke Crosbie signed pro deals from the Academy part way through the campaign.
- Hugh Fraser stepped away from rugby just a few weeks into the season; Robbie Fruean sadly had to retire from rugby; and Anton Bresler was released early from his contract to join Worcester.
- Overall the Edinburgh full-time squad averaged 44 players last season.
- The squad average age is 26.0.
- The average for the first team is 27.0.
- There are 6 players over the age of 30 at the start of the season.
- Ross Ford is the oldest player in the squad at 34 years and 5 months.
- Charlie Shiel (20 years and 9 months) is the youngest players in the full-time squad.
- Just to make many rugby fans feel old – there are 4 teenagers in the SRA Stage 3 group who were born in the year 2000…
- There are 26 capped players (23 Scots and 3 others) with 448 Test caps among them.
- That’s a jump from September 2017 when there were 20 capped internationals in the main squad of 42 players (19 Scots and 1 other).
- The players have a total of 1,888 Edinburgh appearances behind them.
- They include 7 men with more than 100 games for the club who account for nearly half (860) of the previous matches played.
- Before the season started there were 13 players in the main squad who had yet to make their Edinburgh debut. Pierre Schoeman, Luke Hamilton, Henry Pyrgos and Simon Hickey took their bows against Ospreys in the opening round of the campaign last weekend.
- Among the current squad Ross Ford has the most caps for the club with 179. Fordy will need to keep going for a good few seasons yet if he wants to challenge Allan Jacobsen’s all-time record of 286 Edinburgh appearances.
- With a fair wind Ben Toolis (89 games so far) and Hamish Watson (83) could reach their centuries before the end of the season.
- 22 of the main squad have progressed directly from the Scottish Rugby Academy or its predecessor, Elite Development Player contracts (49% of current full-time players).
- Of the remaining players:
- 6 came from the Gallagher Premiership;
- 4 from other PRO14 clubs;
- 3 from the Top 14;
- 3 from Super Rugby;
- And there were 7 ‘others’ (Natal Sharks, Canterbury, Fiji 7s, Scotland 7s [x2], London Irish and Stade Nicois).
- 7 of the players who came to Edinburgh from other clubs were involved in the EDP or SRA systems at some stage in their career.
Not Scottish Qualified:
- Forwards – 4 of 26 players in the main squad are not eligible to play for Scotland (15%).
- Backs – 4 of 19 players are not Scots qualified (21%).
- Total – 8 of 45 players (18%).
- Nationalities – 6 in total.
- 37 players – Scottish (or Scottish-qualified)
- 3 players – South African
- 2 players – Fijian
- 1 player each – Argentinian, Italian, New Zealander
There is a lot of depth and quality in the forwards, in particular the front row.
There are some high quality backs in the squad but not the depth that the forwards have. There’s a pretty big drop off between the 1st and 2nd choice backs.
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Yeah there’s a definite imbalance there – arguably with the mirror image at Glasgow where the backs go deep but there’s less strength throughout the forwards!