Prop Mcneil Signs Professional Contract

ImageBruce McNeil has become the latest National Academy graduate to sign a professional contract with Edinburgh and the 25-year-old prop says he is looking forward to working with head coach Andy Robinson on a daily basis.
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The Stranraer-born front rower enjoyed a productive season with Heriot's which culminated with McNeil being selected in the Scottish club international team; the third successive year he had been handed that honour.
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As a result, McNeil has been rewarded with a two-year professional contract and he says he cannot wait to learn from former Lions forwards coach Robinson on the training pitch.
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McNeil said: 'training with Andy has been a great experience; you listen to everything he says because there is always a motive behind it.

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"I love his winning attitude and his hardness; I really enjoy the way he coaches.
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"He is straight to the point all the time and he never messes about. I like his direct approach and I think I will continue to learn from working with him.
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"I"m really excited to be given the chance to play professional rugby for Edinburgh. Last season when I was part of the National Academy I was allowed to train with Edinburgh twice a week, so now it is nice to be able to do that on a full-time basis."
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Despite having made his name as an emerging talent at loosehead, McNeil revealed he has been recruited as a tighthead and says he is willing to pull out all the stops in a bid to make a successful transformation.
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He added: "Andy has asked me if I would like to sign as a tighthead and the fact that I will be able to play at either side of the scrum gives me a greater chance of getting into the team.
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"It is a big transition for me to move from loosehead because I"ve played in that position for pretty much my whole life and I"ve only played tighthead on the odd occasion.
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'there is a lot hard work ahead for me to adjust to being a tighthead, but I"m willing to put that in to try and establish myself.
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"When players are away on international duty with Scotland, hopefully I will have done enough to be given a chance."
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McNeil has followed the same path as John Houston by moving from Hawick to Heriot's before joining Edinburgh.
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Now the former Scotland under-20 international says he is aiming to make a similar impact during his rookie professional year after gaining an insight into Houston's day-to-day routine; because the pair share a flat together.
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He said: "I"ve known John for a long time and he is my flat-mate in Edinburgh; he makes sure I eat the right things and has given me a lot of advice.
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"He tried so hard to get into professional rugby and he took his chance; the way he performed last season really inspired me and I would love to follow in his footsteps.
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"Hawick had a lot to do with my progress because I came through the ranks there and then I moved to Heriots. I liked the winning mentality shown by the coaches at Heriots and that is the same mentality at Edinburgh."
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Robinson welcomed his latest recruit and highlighted McNeil's attitude as one of the player's strongest attributes.
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Robinson said: "Bruce is a very promising prop and his willingness to both learn and adapt suggests he has a very bright future. We are always actively looking to promote young Scottish talent and Bruce will now have a chance to show what he is capable of."
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Stephen Gemmell, head of the National Academy, praised McNeil's work-rate and tipped him to do well with Edinburgh.
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Gemmell said: "Bruce has worked very hard ever since he joined the Academy and deserves his chance with Edinburgh.
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"He has now been given an opportunity and he needs to continue that hard work to make the most of the chance he has got."