Edinburgh squad analysis – Depth Chart 2021/22

There have been plenty of changes at Edinburgh – starting at the very top with Mike Blair replacing Richard Cockerill. The squad too has been reshaped. Of the 60 players who featured for the club since rugby returned after its Covid-enforced hiatus, 19 are no longer at Edinburgh. Another 6 of the extended squad have also departed.

A dozen new faces have joined up since the start of the year, during which time another 4 players have stepped up to the full-time squad and there have been 6 additions to the senior Academy group.

With all those player movements in mind, it’s time to take a detailed look at the ‘Official’ On Top Of The Moon Depth Chart for Edinburgh Rugby and the squad that will tackle the coming campaign.

(For last season’s Depth Chart click here.)

Here is the full OTOTM Depth Chart:

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Main squad facts and figures

Squad size:

  • There are currently 45 full-time pros confirmed in this year’s squad.
  • There is also 1 Partnership contract as well as 15 Scottish Rugby Academy stage 3 players.
  • That compares to 42 + 4 + 15 at the start of the last campaign.
  • With a number of late arrivals and changes in contract status, overall the Edinburgh full-time squad averaged 45 players during the most recent season.
  • The club also made use of half a dozen players from Scotland 7s and Super 6 across 2020/21.

Age:

  • The full-time squad’s average age is 26.8 (2020/21 – 26.7).
  • The average for the first team is 27.9 (2020/21 – 27.6). It is worth noting that breaks down as an average age of 29.2 in the pack compared to 26.5 in the backs.
  • There are 11 players over the age of 30 (2020/21 – 11).
  • There are 10 players aged 23 and under in the squad (2020/21 – 11)
  • Willem Nel is the oldest player in the squad at 35 years and 5 months.
  • Nel is nearly 16 years older than Jordan Venter who is the youngest player in the full-time squad at 19 years and 7 months.

Caps:

  • There are 21 capped players (16 Scots and 5 others) with 465 Test caps among them.
  • That’s one less than last season when there were 22 capped internationals with 382 Test caps in the main squad of 42 players (18 Scots and 4 others).

Appearances:

  • The players have a total of 2,003 Edinburgh appearances behind them.
  • They include 7 men with more than 100 games for the club who account for a little under half of the previous matches played (939).
  • With 4 games played already this season there are still 6 players in the main squad who have yet to make their Edinburgh debuts – Harry Lloyd, Adam McBurney, Glen Young, Jordan Venter, Freddie Owsley and Emiliano Boffelli.
  • Among the current squad, Grant Gilchrist has the most caps for the club with 163, just ahead of Willem Nel (160) and Stuart McInally (156).
  • Magnis Bradbury (97 appearances) and Viliame Mata (93) should be next in line to bring up a century of matches for Edinburgh.

Development:

  • 20 of the main squad have progressed directly from the Scottish Rugby Academy or its predecessor, Elite Development Player contracts (43% of current full-time players – 48% last season).
  • Of the remaining players:
    • 6 came from the Gallagher Premiership;
    • 4 from other PRO14 clubs (2 from Glasgow);
    • 4 from Super Rugby;
    • 4 from the Top 14;
    • And there were 7 ‘others’ (Stade Nicois, Jersey Reds, Fiji 7s [x2], Sydney Roosters RL, Scotland 7s and one straight from school).
    • 3 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 – 7 of 25 players in the main squad are not eligible to play for Scotland (28% – the equivalent figure was 19% last season).
  • Backs – 4 of 20 players are not Scots qualified (20% – compared to 31% in 2019/20).
  • Total – 11 of 45 players (24%). Last season 10 of 42 (24%).
  • Note that Pierre Schoeman has been SQ under the 36-month residency rules since the end of July. He must play a capture match for Scotland by 31 December 2021 or he will then fall under the change to a 60-month residency requirement and would not be eligible again until July 2023.
  • Nationalities – 6 in total.
    • 34 players – Scottish (or Scottish-qualified)
    • 4 players – South African
    • 3 players – Fijian
    • 2 players – Argentinian
    • 1 player – Australian
    • 1 player – English

Super 6:

There are three clubs in the Super 6 who are linked to Edinburgh – Heriot’s, Southern Knights and Watsonians. The 15 Scottish Rugby Academy players included above are also allocated to one of these three sides.

The remaining players are noted below with one candidate in each position highlighted who might be considered as having the best chance of linking up with Edinburgh at some stage this season. The other squad members are listed in alphabetical order within their positions. Players in capitals have previously played in a competitive match for either Glasgow or Edinburgh.

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N.B. Props Mak Wilson (on loan from Harlequins), Steven Longwell (took up professional contract with Jersey Reds) and Matias Sonzogni (pro contract with Rugby Club du Bassin D’Arcachon) have not been included above.

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