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Darcy Graham: 'I had other offers but I want to win silverware with Edinburgh'

By Bryn Palmer
Darcy Graham is closing in on Scotland's all-time try-scoring record (Photo Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Darcy Graham has given Scottish rugby a major festive fillip by agreeing a new contract with Edinburgh through until the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

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The 26-year-old Scotland winger, who has been at the capital club since 2017, turned down offers from elsewhere to sign a new three-year deal.

Graham has scored 34 tries in 61 outings for Edinburgh and is also Scotland’s joint-second highest try scorer with 24 in 39 Tests, 12 of those having come in his last eight internationals.

He is only three behind Stuart Hogg’s all-time record of 27, which seems destined to fall to his fellow Hawick native in the near future, unless Duhan van der Merwe, currently on 21 tries, beats him to it.

“Make no bones about it, Darcy [Graham] is box office,” said Edinburgh senior coach Sean Everitt. “He’s a world-class talent who can change a game at the drop of a hat. We’ve seen that for both Edinburgh and Scotland through the years – it’s brilliant that we’ve managed to re-sign him on a new long-term deal.

“Darcy is a guy who just loves to play the game of rugby and I think that being here in Edinburgh, surrounded by his team-mates, friends and family, suits him to a tee.

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“This is his boyhood club where he has made his name and the Edinburgh supporters absolutely love him – you only have to hear their reaction every time he scores at home. It’s hugely exciting for both club and country that Darcy has decided his future remains in Edinburgh.”

Darcy Graham
Graham has been in prolific form for club and country over the past 16 months (Photo Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Since the start of last season, Graham has scored 24 tries in his last 21 games overall for Edinburgh and Scotland, despite being sidelined with damaged knee ligaments for three months last term.

He has just returned from a further two-month absence with a hip problem sustained in Scotland’s final World Cup pool match against Ireland, making his Edinburgh comeback off the bench in their Challenge Cup win against Castres before starting Friday’s URC defeat by Glasgow at Scotstoun.

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Graham said he was “hugely excited” after agreeing his new deal. “I did have other offers, but this is home, and after speaking with Sean [Everitt], he really sold me on his plans for the club. That got me excited and I’m keen to be part of what we’re building here in Edinburgh.

“I think Sean and I are pretty similar. He knows what he wants. I know what I want. He keeps it nice and simple – just go out and play rugby and that’s exactly what I’m all about. We sometimes make rugby too confusing. I feel like I can play the type of game that I enjoy under Sean.”

Having now committed the peak years of his career to Edinburgh, the winger is desperate to help the club win a trophy.

“It’s my ambition to win silverware with Edinburgh,” he added. “I’d be gutted if I went my whole career here and didn’t win anything with this club and group of players.

“I genuinely feel like this group can win something and that was also a factor in wanting to stay in Edinburgh. We’ve got the talent, a great new home, it’s now about backing it up week on week.”

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Poorfour 5 hours ago
The AI advantage: How the next two Rugby World Cups will be won

AI models are really just larger and less transparent variants of the statistical models that have been in use since Moneyball was invented. And a big difference between the Icahn centre’s results and AI today is that ChatGPT-like Large Language Models can explain (to some degree) how they reached their conclusions. In terms of what impact they will have, I suspect it will have two primary impacts: 1) It will place a premium on coaching creativity 2) It will lead to more selections that baffle fans and pundits. Analysts will be able to run the models both ways: they will see their own team’s and players’ weaknesses and strengths as well as the opposition’s. So they will have a good idea at what the other team will be targeting and the decisive difference may well be which coaches are smart enough to think of a gameplan that the other side didn’t identify and prepare for. For players, it places a premium on three key things: 1) Having a relatively complete game with no major weaknesses (or the dedication to work on eliminating them) 2) Having the tactical flexibility to play a different game every week 3) Having a point of difference that is so compelling that there isn’t a defence for it. (3) is relatively rare even among pro players. There have been only a handful of players over the years where you knew what they were going to do and the problem was stopping it - Lomu would be the classic example. And even when someone does have that, it’s hard to sustain. Billy Vunipola in his prime was very hard to stop, but fell away quite badly when the toll on his body began to accumulate. So coaches will look for (1) - a lack of exploitable weaknesses - and (2) - the ability to exploit others’ weaknesses - ahead of hoping for (3), at least for the majority of the pack. Which is likely to mean that, as with the original Moneyball, competent, unshowy players who do the stuff that wins matches will win out over outrageous talents who can’t adapt to cover their own weaknesses. Which will leave a lot of people on the sidelines sputtering over the non-inclusion of players whose highlights reels are spectacular, but whose lowlight reels have been uncovered by AI… at least until the point where every fan has access to a sporting analysis AI.

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