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Friday Nov 24, 2023

Blair Kinghorn explains his decision to move to Toulouse

Next weekend’s away match at Ulster will be Scotland international Blair Kinghorn’s last in an Edinburgh shirt, as he looks to replace the cold of Scotland for the warmth of the south side of France next month.

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Following an undisclosed six-figure release fee between Toulouse and Edinburgh, Kinghorn will look to join up with the likes of Antoine Dupont and Romaine Ntamack in a star-studded backline that took European glory as recently as 2021.

Toulouse have recently lost a talented fullback in Melvyn Jaminet to local rivals Toulon, which leaves them in a precarious place at 15. Their first-choice fullback Thomas Ramos remains fit and ready to keep hold of the shirt ahead of the arrival of Kinghorn, but the  50-cap Scotsman will no doubt provide perfect security in a side that has lofty aspirations.

The French side is well known for playing certain players out of position to great success. Look only at Cheslin Kolbe when he plied his trade at Toulouse; primarily chosen as the first choice winger, he was also asked on occasion to step up into the playmaking positions. This is undoubtedly why Toulouse have been so keen to secure a player of Kinghorn’s quality who can perform all the way through the backline, providing perfect versatility for the former European champions.

Whilst this is an exciting time for Kinghorn, he was keen to emphasise that this was not an easy decision: “I’ve called this place home for nine years and have massive loyalty to this club. It gave me everything in my career so far and was the start of my professional rugby journey. I feel like they’ve really got the best out of me.

“Joining Toulouse is an opportunity that’s come forward that I think will be good for me as person, and to develop my career and my game. It’s a big decision, but I feel like it’s the right move for me.

“I’m really grateful to Edinburgh, for seeing this as great opportunity for me to develop personally and as a rugby player, but it is still going to be a sad day.”

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Edinburgh senior coach, Sean Everitt had the following to say about his departing man: “Blair is an Edinburgh boy through and through, a home-grown club centurion and Scotland internationalist – he’s certainly the type of quality player we’d have liked to retain in the blue and orange of Edinburgh Rugby,

“His intention to leave at the end of his current contract certainly played a part in our decision to agree to his premature release, as well as our well-documented strength and depth in the back three.

“It was on that basis, we agreed reluctantly to this release in return for payment of a significant sum from Toulouse, which we’ll now consider carefully how best it can be reinvested in the club.”

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