Kinghorn to join Toulouse
Edinburgh Rugby centurion and full-back Blair Kinghorn will join Toulouse after next week’s BKT URC match against Ulster – subject to medical – after a six-figure release fee was agreed with the Top 14 side.
The 26-year-old’s current contract with the capital club was set to end in June, at which point he had already intimated his intention to move to the French side, with a fee agreed subsequently for his early release this month.
Edinburgh Rugby will continue to focus on the remainder of the season, with established depth and quality in the back-three, where Darcy Graham, Duhan van der Merwe, Emiliano Boffelli and Wes Goosen are joined by several exciting young Scottish talents coming through the ranks.
Edinburgh Rugby Senior Coach, Sean Everitt, said: “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.
“We wish Blair all the very best in is new challenge in France and thank him for his commitment to the club.”
Kinghorn joined his hometown team in May 2015 having shone for Scotland U20 and developed into one of the club’s most exciting backline talents.
He enjoyed a breakout 2017/18 season and finished the then PRO14 campaign with the most metres gained in the league, as well as a place in the end of season Dream Team.
The Edinburgh Academy product was rewarded for his fine form with a call up to the Scotland squad during the 2018 Six Nations when he took the field as replacement in the Calcutta Cup victory over England.
His prominence and consistency saw him become an established feature of the Edinburgh rugby backline, making his 100th club appearance against Glasgow Warriors in 2021 and earning his 50th Scotland cap in the recent Rugby World Cup.
This Friday night’s BKT URC clash with Benetton will be his 138th outing for the capital club and last in front of the club’s home support at Hive Stadium.
Kinghorn said: “This has been a really tough 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.”
Looking back on his time with the club, coming through the ranks as an Edinburgh boy born and raised, he added: “It’s been quite a journey. When I first signed, we were at Murrayfield, and then Myreside, and now having our own pitch at Hive Stadium is so great.
“It’s really given our supporters a voice to be heard and they make matchday so special. The club has a real home where we can keep building performances because the atmosphere out there is unbelievable.
“The Edinburgh fans have also backed me through thick and thin. There’s been some sticky moments in my career, and they’ve always stuck by me. That’s always something I appreciated. I really hope that continues with the team as I really believe they can go on and do something special.
“It’s been a special journey and one that I’ve loved, and I can’t wait to run out there again this Friday night. It’s going to be really tough to leave, it’s going to be sad to say good-bye, but I’ll leave so grateful for everything here.”