Academy prospects earn pro deals with Edinburgh

Three of Scottish rugby’s most exciting prospects – Callum Hunter-Hill, Hugh Fraser and Tom Galbraith – have graduated from the BT Sport Scottish Rugby Academy into full-time professional deals with Edinburgh.

L-R: Hunter-Hill, Galbraith and Fraser

All three featured for London Scottish throughout the 2016/17 season, while Fraser and Galbraith have been training with the capital club on a fulltime basis since ending their time in Richmond.

Hunter-Hill has signed a two-year deal with the capital club, while the two backs will be part of the Edinburgh set-up until at least May 2018.

A product of Edinburgh’s Stewart’s Melville College, Hunter-Hill made his Scotland U20 debut in the side’s historic win over England in the 2016 Six Nations and has since made 14 appearances – five as captain – for the age-grade side.

During his time in the BT Sport Academy, the lock made several reserve appearances for both Edinburgh and their counterparts in the west. He also captained Stirling County in the BT Premiership.

On penning his first professional deal, he said: “I’ve no doubt it’s going to be a huge step-up into such a professional environment but I’m looking forward to the challenge and getting started with Edinburgh.

“There are some established players in the second-row at the club and it’s exciting to be able to learn from these guys and feed off their knowledge.

“I know a lot of the young guys at the club and something really seems to be building with a good blend of youth and experience. I’m excited to get involved, apply myself and start competing for a place in the team."

Scrum-half Fraser joined the Academy in 2014 and progressed through the national age-grade system.

He was a regular starter in Scotland U20’s historic season in 2016, and was named as scrum-half in the World Rugby U20 Championship dream team at the close of the competition that same year.

Fraser has featured for Heriot’s in the BT Premiership.

On joining the club, he said: “I’m really looking forward to finally stepping up and being with the side on a fulltime basis.

“It’s great to be training alongside experienced internationalists. It motivates you to aspire to their level and keeps you pushing on.

“I’ve enjoyed watching the boys I played age-grade rugby with do well in an Edinburgh shirt and hopefully I can follow in their footsteps.”

Galbraith – who is comfortable at stand-off, centre and full-back – was part of the same senior age-grade side as Fraser.

Schooled at Glenalmond College, Galbraith also played for Kelso Quins, before making the switch to fellow Border side, Melrose, to compete in the BT Premiership.

He was awarded an Academy contract in 2015 and captained Scotland U20 against Ireland in the 2016 Six Nations.

He said: “It’s great to have progressed through the Academy and be recognised with a pro-contract at the end.

 “I’ve enjoyed spending time in the training environment already. It’s given me a chance to get to know the other boys and get into the swing of things before going into pre-season.

“I’ve played with a lot of the younger guys at under-20 and it’s great to see them getting on the Edinburgh team sheet. They’ve shown that with a great deal of hard work, it’s possible to get a shot.”

Acting Head Coach, Duncan Hodge, said:

“All three players are quality athletes and welcome additions to the squad.

“Callum is hugely talented and shows a lot of maturity for a player of his age. He’s solid at the set-piece and has shown he is a natural leader.

“As a scrum-half, Hugh has a great service and a good game management. He’s shown his worth at age-grade level and will provide further competition at scrum-half. 

“Tom is a well-rounded footballer with a deceptive physical edge. His versatility will see him add depth to a few positions in our backline.”