Ashman joins Edinburgh Rugby
Highly-rated Scotland international hooker Ewan Ashman will join Edinburgh Rugby this summer on a four-year deal from Sale Sharks.
The 23-year-old – who had a short spell on loan at Edinburgh in 2019 – has so far earned seven caps for Scotland since making his international debut in 2021, scoring at the corner in acrobatic fashion to help secure a famous 15-13 win over Australia at BT Murrayfield Stadium.
A rising star for Premiership high-flyers Sharks, Ashman also excelled at age-grade level for Scotland – scoring 10 tries in 15 matches at U20 level – while the hooker has already made over 50 appearances at senior level for the Greater Manchester club.
Ashman said: “I’m buzzing to be joining Edinburgh, it’s a team I’ve always supported. As a city, Edinburgh has always felt like home. It’s where my family is from and I can’t wait to move back there.
“I loved my short stint at the club when I was younger. It’s a great group of boys and some of my best mates I played with at age grade are now at the core of the squad, which definitely played a factor in my decision to move.
“The ethos and energy around the club was also a big factor as I improved a lot during my time in Edinburgh.”
Born in Toronto, Canada, Ashman qualifies for Scotland through his Edinburgh-born father. He came through the ranks at Cheshire’s Sandbach RUFC and played both centre and back-row prior to switching to hooker in 2016.
He represented Scotland throughout the age-grades at U16, U17 and U19 levels before graduating to U20, where he showcased his prolific try-scoring record – with seven tries in five games – and finished as the top try-scorer at the 2019 World Rugby Under 20 Championship in Argentina.
The hooker’s try-scoring form continued in the U20 Six Nations Championship, finishing as the tournament’s top try scorer as Scotland recorded a second-place finish in a Covid-19 curtailed campaign.
Back with Sale Sharks, Ashman made his Premiership debut from the bench against Leicester Tigers in September 2020, while he was part of the squad that lifted the Premiership Rugby Cup trophy that same campaign, with a 27-19 win against Harlequins.
After featuring in 11 matches across the 2020/21 season, Ashman enjoyed a breakout campaign with Sale Sharks in the 2021/22 season – scoring eight tries in 18 appearances – while he announced his arrival on the international stage in style against the Wallabies.
Ashman’s spectacular rise for both club and country continued this current campaign and has seen him score six tries in 22 matches, the most recent of which came in Saturday’s Challenge Cup Round of 16 defeat to Cardiff Rugby.
He now gears up to make his move north permanent, where he’ll have the opportunity to demonstrate to Edinburgh fans how far he’s come since 2019, while testing himself in a new environment and league in the BKT United Rugby Championship.
“My spell in 2019 seems a long time ago now,” he added.
“I’m obviously a lot more experienced having run out over 50 times with Sale Sharks in the Premiership and Europe – I’m definitely a smarter player for that.
“But at heart, I’m definitely still the same player. I want to enjoy my rugby, impose myself through physicality and enjoy myself on the pitch.
“The BKT URC is really exciting. It’s a fresh competition and an opportunity to go head-to-head with some of the best players in the world.
“Just from recent results in Europe you can see the calibre of the competition. It’s going to be class to be able play my part in that, helping Edinburgh win and measuring myself against top opposition.”
Head Coach Mike Blair welcomed Ashman’s signing.
He said: “Ewan is a top prospect and a player that Edinburgh Rugby supporters should be hugely excited about. He brings a lot of quality to the position and is only going to get better, given his relatively young age.
“It’s brilliant that the club has secured his signing on a long-term deal. He will be a top player for both Edinburgh and Scotland in the seasons to come.”