Edinburgh Rugby are delighted to announce the signing of Melrose and Scotland under-20 winger Damien Hoyland on a two-year deal starting this summer.
Born and raised in the capital, the former James Gillespie's high school pupil is considered one of the top Scottish prospects to have come through the region’s player pathway while playing for former club, Boroughmuir and attending the rugby performance course at Telford College.
During that time he developed a reputation for his searing pace and try-scoring exploits, registering a brace in last season’s under-20 6 Nations win over Ireland at Netherdale when he was brought into regional academy, supported by the Sportscotland Institute of Sport, in the season he signed for Melrose (2012/13).
With six tries tries in 11 appearances for Scotland under-20 his signature means the club has secured one of the nation's most prolific age-grade internationalists going into 2014 IRB Junior World Championships.
It’s hard to put into words how happy I am to get this opportunity.
- - Damien Hoyland
“I’ve always dreamed that I might get this chance since I started playing rugby so I’m absolutely delighted, especially as it’s with Edinburgh Rugby who I’ve supported from a young age. It’s quite surreal really.
“I was invited to spend a couple of months with the squad from October to December which really helped. I met and travelled with the team and was exposed to the intensity of their training.
There’s a lot of experience in the Edinburgh Rugby squad and I could feel myself getting better even in that short time so I’m really happy to be given an opportunity to be part of that longer-term."
He continued: "It's taken a huge amount of work and support to get me to this point. I've been fortunate to have a lot of good people around me who have helped my rugby develop.
"I'd like to thank my family, friends, the Institute of Sport, former club Boroughmuir and Rob Chrystie at Telford College and Melrose for preparing for this opportunity. Hopefully I'll do them all proud."
Edinburgh Rugby head coach, Alan Solomons, said: “This is very positive news for the club.
“I heard about Damien [Hoyland] through the feedback we receive from the domestic club scene and the scouts and coaches we have watching games in the RBS Premiership.
“We had a closer look at him in training at Murrayfield and have taken him on a couple of away matches to introduce him to our squad and set-up, and show him how we operate.
He’s a talented, young Scottish player and it’s great that he joins us for next season.”
- - Head coach Alan Solomons
Date of Birth: 11 January 1994 in Edinburgh
Height: 5ft 10in (1.77m), weight 13st 10lb (84.5kg)
Previous clubs: Melrose, Boroughmuir, Boroughmuir U15, U16, Colts
Honours: Scotland U20, Scotland U17 7s (2011 Youth Commonwealth Games), Edinburgh U16, U17, U18