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Edinburgh sign Ireland age-grade hooker McBurney as Willemse' departure confirmed

By Sam Smith

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Edinburgh have signed 24-year-old Scottish-qualified Ulster hooker Adam McBurney, whose grandmother was from Cadder, Lanarkshire. His contract coincides with the confirmation that Mike Willemse will leave at the end of the season, having made 34 appearances since arriving in 2019

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McBurney joined the Ulster academy set-up in 2016 and represented Ireland from U18 to U20. His progress led to a senior debut for Ulster in 2017 and his first senior contract with the Irish province a year later.

He has since gone on to make 35 appearances for the Guinness PRO14 side. “I’m extremely excited to sign for Edinburgh. It’s a great place and a club with very high standards,” said McBurney. “Over the last few seasons, the progress on the pitch has been extremely noticeable from the outside looking in, and it’s something I’m looking forward to being involved with.

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“I want to be part of a very successful Edinburgh squad, take every opportunity I’m given on the pitch, show what I’m about and how I can fit into the values and good work Edinburgh have already been doing.”

McBurney hopes to now take advantage of the experience of Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill, who earned 27 caps for England in the late 90s. “Richard Cockerill was a world-class player and is a world-class coach. I still have a lot of learning in me. I hope to benefit from his experiences to bring the best out of me as a hooker.

“I’ve been in the same rugby environment since I was a kid and hope this change will challenge my ability to adapt, along with picking the brains of new coaches and players to develop my skills. I’d like to thank to Ulster for everything they have done to help me progress to where I’m at today.”

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Cockerill added: “We’re pleased to announce Adam will be joining our squad next season. He’s a tough and dynamic competitor with a lot of scope for development. He is a good fit for us and – with Mike leaving – slots well into our stable of hookers at the club.

“He will bring a lot of energy, a bit of edge and is a hard worker. We’re looking forward to linking up with him and seeing how he can progress.”

 

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PRO 14    

Edinburgh sign Ireland age-grade hooker McBurney as Willemse' departure confirmed

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