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Edinburgh boss addresses links with Scotland's Premiership stars

By Bryn Palmer
Bristol Bears' Magnus Bradbury during the Gallagher Premiership Rugby match between Bristol Bears and Leicester Tigers at Ashton Gate on October 13, 2023 in Bristol, England. (Photo by Bob Bradford - CameraSport via Getty Images)

Edinburgh head coach Sean Everitt has revealed he has held talks with Bristol Bears No.8 Magnus Bradbury about a possible return to the club this summer, whose move was reported by RugbyPass.

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The Scotland international joined the Gallagher Premiership side two years ago but has seen his Test career stall since moving south, having won the last of his 19 caps during the 2022 Six Nations.

But he remains on national coach Gregor Townsend’s radar having been called into his training squad midway through this year’s Championship, without making a match-day 23.

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Leinster assistant coach Andrew Goodman explains plans for the two-match URC tour to SA

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Leinster assistant coach Andrew Goodman explains plans for the two-match URC tour to SA

Bradbury, 28, has scored eight tries in 18 matches for Bristol this season, including two in the Bears’ last outing at Gloucester on March 30.

But with Edinburgh’s Fijian No.8 Bill Mata joining Bristol this summer, a move back to the club where he made his name may appeal to the back-rower, who can also play at blindside flanker.

Match Summary

5
Penalty Goals
3
3
Tries
3
3
Conversions
3
0
Drop Goals
0
85
Carries
103
5
Line Breaks
5
10
Turnovers Lost
9
4
Turnovers Won
3

Asked whether Bradbury was among his possible targets to replace Mata, Everitt said: “Yes. We have spoken to a number of players. It’s just whether they are available or not and if they want to accept the opportunity here at Edinburgh.”

Bradbury made his senior debut for Edinburgh as a 19-year-old in 2014 and was made captain at 22 under former head coach Richard Cockerill in 2017, the year after his Scotland debut.

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But he was stripped of the captaincy a few months later after an internal investigation into an off-field incident in which he suffered a head injury during a fall on a night out.

“With Bill leaving, we are looking for a replacement,” Everitt said. “In saying that, we do have Ben Muncaster, Tom Dodd and Connor Boyle who have played really well when they have had the opportunity. We’ve also got Under-20 players coming through like Liam McConnell and a young guy like Tom Currie, and pre-season will help with their development. But we are certainly looking around to see who is available to come in and fill those boots.”

Another player linked with a return to Edinburgh is Leicester centre Matt Scott, who the Tigers announced last week would be one of five players leaving the club at the end of the season.

The 33-year-old started his career with Edinburgh and after a two-year stint at Gloucester had a second spell in the Scottish capital before joining Leicester.

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But asked whether talks with Scott had resulted in a contract offer being made, Everitt said: “Not at this stage.”

Meanwhile the South African has warned his squad that “time is running out” for some senior players to win silverware as they digest the fallout from their European Challenge Cup quarter-final defeat by Sharks in Durban last weekend.

It was Edinburgh’s eighth quarter-final defeat in domestic or European competition in the last eight years, in addition to a semi-final loss in the old Pro14 in 2020.

“I think it’s up to us to rectify that,” said Everitt, whose side sat fourth in the United Rugby Championship a month ago but have dropped to ninth, a point outside the top eight play-off spots, with five matches left – starting with Saturday’s visit of Scarlets.

“I think the players are aware that maybe they’re not achieving what they should. They’ve certainly had opportunities and that’s why it was so disappointing on Saturday because they were so close to achieving something probably not a lot of people had given us hope for.

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“With the player group that we have and the responsibilities that we have and some of the players knowing that they are coming to the end of their careers, time is running out.

“We did speak about that last week. We say we want to win something, then you get yourselves into a position and you say ‘don’t worry, we’ll do it next year’ but your rugby career is very short and sometimes you run out of time. So I think it’s a good opportunity to get that right now.”

Edinburgh led 16-14 at half-time in Durban but conceded 10 second-half penalties as they capitulated under the weight of Sharks pressure, two late tries giving the final 36-30 scoreline a flattering look.

Everitt warned he will get tough with repeat offenders if the indiscipline continues.

“We spoke openly at the beginning of the season about being an 80-minute team, and at the moment we’re not performing for 80 although we are finishing strongly in the last 10 minutes in all the games,” he added.

“There’s always been player responsibility but if you’ve run out of options and you’re not getting a reaction, then you have to be more severe on the consequences.

“We all know, and I state it openly, that if we concede less than 10 penalties, we win. That’s a trend of Edinburgh – you can’t go out and concede 14 and expect to win.”

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Abe 3 hours ago
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Turlough 7 hours ago
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