North Berwick duo extend Edinburgh stay
North Berwick duo Chris Dean (centre) and Ben Muncaster (back-row) today each penned two-year contract extensions with Edinburgh Rugby.
The pair’s extended terms continues a strong affiliation with Edinburgh Rugby and North Berwick RFC – the East Lothian town producing capital players dating back to Harry Smith in 1893, the 220th Edinburgh player.
Dean and Muncaster have continued the tradition of Edinburgh players coming from the seaside town, and kept the connection alive by visiting the minis section at North Berwick RFC as part of the Our Burgh campaign earlier this year.
A new deal will see Dean, 29, enter his 10th season with the club.
The club centurion made a winning debut against Leinster in 2015, becoming the 1209th player to represent the capital. The experienced centre has gone on to make 133 appearances, scoring 19 tries in the process.
Versatile back-row Muncaster, 21, enjoyed a breakout campaign last season, earning himself the club’s Young Player of the Season award, before gaining international honours for Scotland ‘A’ against Chile in the summer.
Head Coach Mike Blair said: “We’re delighted to see Chris and Ben re-sign for the club. They’re both hugely driven and talented players.
“Chris is an experienced head to have at the club, with Ben showing he too has a massive future here. It’s also great to see the connection between Edinburgh Rugby and North Berwick is alive and well.”
Dean came through the ranks at North Berwick and Edinburgh Academy, and represented Scotland at every age-grade level, before catching the eye while playing for Scotland 7s.
He made his 50th appearance for the club against Ospreys in November 2017 and earned centurion status with an away win over Sale Sharks in the Heineken Champions Cup in December 2020.
On his new deal, Dean said: “I’m really excited to be given the opportunity to continue playing for Edinburgh Rugby. Not sure where the last nine years have gone but I feel as energised as ever to continue improving and enjoy playing the game I’ve always loved.
“Extra bonus that I get to do it for the club I’ve grown up supporting and always known as a player – I hope I can represent the club as many times as I can and play a part in bringing success to it over the next two seasons”
Born in North Berwick, Muncaster earned a scholarship to Rugby School at an early age, where he impressed enough to be picked up by Leicester Tigers.
He has represented Scotland at both U18 and U19 levels and later made his Edinburgh Rugby debut in the home Rainbow Cup victory over Zebre in April 2021, becoming Edinburgh player #1294.
He then announced his arrival on the senior professional scene in a stand-out 21/22 season – a barnstorming performance against Cell C Sharks in Durban among the many highlights as Edinburgh became the first northern hemisphere URC side to win in South Africa.
The dynamic ball-carrier has made 26 appearances for the club, scoring three tries.
On his new deal, Muncaster said: “I’m absolutely buzzing to be staying at the club. It’s a really good group of boys, and I’m loving my time here.
The back-row has real quality in it, so to learn from guys like Bill Mata, Luke Crosbie, Jamie Ritchie and Hamish Watson, while contributing to the team is an exciting opportunity for me.”