RaboDirect PRO12: Edinburgh extend contracts of Hamish Watson and George Turner

Last Updated: 06/08/13 1:25pm

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Hamish Watson: Has made 14 appearances for Edinburgh's first team

Hamish Watson: Has made 14 appearances for Edinburgh's first team

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Edinburgh have extended the contracts of young forwards Hamish Watson and George Turner until 2014.

The former Scotland underage internationals will continue to work with the club as part of the national elite development player (EDP) programme with a view to securing full-time deals in the coming years.

Watson, 21, moved north from the Leicester Tigers Academy in 2011 for a central Scotland sevens contract, before being approached to join Edinburgh's development programme.

The back-row has made 14 appearances for the RaboDirect PRO12 side, while also impressing for Edinburgh Accies.

Hooker Turner, who has represented Edinburgh throughout the age-grades, was selected by Scotland for last year's U20 Six Nations and Junior World Championship in South Africa.

Edinburgh forwards coach Stevie Scott said: "Hamish and George are two young, and up-and-coming players in specialist positions of open-side flanker and hooker, with quality international experience at the club to help them develop.

"What we need to see is a continuation of their hard work and then for them to challenge the others in their position for a place in the team - this is particularly true of Hamish who had a good run of games at the end of the season.

"Both have shown that they have lots of potential but they still have a lot of hard work to do, and can look to the example of recent EDP graduates, like Matt Scott and Grant Gilchrist, who have gone on to become regulars for Edinburgh Rugby and win full international honours."

Watson said: "While we wanted more from our season as a club, I feel that the season past went quite well for me personally.

"I've met the targets I set at the start of the season in terms of game time, which is the best way to develop, and that's helped me develop as a player. Hopefully with this new deal I can build on that now.

"I'm really excited to sign for another year. Back at the start of the season I knew I wanted to stay because there's so much potential here, with all the established internationals and really talented young players breaking into the squad.

"If we get it right I think we can have a great year and hopefully I'll play well enough to be a part of it and earn the chance to stay in Edinburgh a lot longer."

A hip injury disrupted Turner's efforts to challenge for a place in the senior squad last season, but he gave a glimpse of his destructive ball carrying at the Gala 7s earlier this year, with much expected of the fledgling front-rower.

He said: "I've had good feedback from the coaches and really happy that the club wanted me to stay, with the goal to getting fully fit for the start of the season.

"It's been a frustrating year. I only played three games of rugby in the RBS Premiership last season, so I'm keen need to get fit, get on the field and push for a place in the Edinburgh squad."

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