One-club man Gilchrist pens extension

One-club man Gilchrist pens extension

Club stalwart, centurion and co-captain Grant Gilchrist has put pen-to-paper on a new deal, keeping him in the capital until at least June 2025.

The one-club man – now in his 13th season with Edinburgh Rugby – was named co-captain alongside Ben Vellacott at the start of the new campaign, his fifth year in a leadership role having already captained the club in four separate seasons (16/17, 20/21, 21/22, 22/23).

Gilchrist, 33, made his 194th appearance for the club in Saturday’s EPCR Challenge Cup victory against Castres Olympique and now gears up to face Glasgow Warriors in back-to-back 1872 Cup derbies over the festive period, with the decisive intercity clash taking place at Scottish Gas Murrayfield on Saturday 30 December (kick-off 3pm).

On extending terms, Gilchrist said: “I’m delighted to have signed an extension to my contract. I’ve made no secret of my love for my boyhood club and the city I call home.

“My two young boys are now Edinburgh supporters and love coming to the games and chanting ‘Ed-in-burgh’, so my connection to the club only gets deeper and deeper.

“I’m desperate to help bring success for our fans and believe we have the squad, coaches and staff to make that happen.”

Having joined the centurions club in September 2017 (vs Dragons RFC), Gilchrist now has the opportunity to become Edinburgh Rugby’s third-ever double-centurion, following in the footsteps of legendary players Allan ‘Chunk’ Jacobsen and Chris Paterson.

It would be an incredible achievement for Gilchrist who made his professional debut for the club in September 2011 (vs Cardiff Rugby) – becoming Edinburgh player #1143 – having come through the ranks at both Alloa RFC and Stirling County.

He continued: “It would be a huge honour for me to reach 200 caps, to be up there with the absolute legends of this club is a bit surreal to be honest.

“If, fingers crossed, I can make it happen, it’ll be an incredibly proud day for me and my family. I remember my first season like it was yesterday, getting to play alongside legends of the club I grew up supporting – Chunk, Mossy, Fordy, Mike Blair. Time flies!”

Gilchrist was selected for his third Rugby World Cup this past summer in France where he featured in three group stage clashes with South Africa, Romania and Ireland.

The lock has been one of Edinburgh Rugby’s most consistent and impressive performers since returning to the club, playing six games so far this season, helping the capital side to home victories over Emirates Lions, Connacht, Vodacom Bulls and Castres Olympique.

Gilchrist added: “This season has been really good. Sean has been clear right from the start in what he wants both collectively as a team and individually from me.

“I think we’ve been getting better as the season goes on, and I believe we’ve got so much more in us too, which is an exciting place to be and to see how far we can go this year.”

Edinburgh Rugby Senior Coach Sean Everitt has hailed the lock’s impact and leadership, having this week secured the services of both Gilchrist and fellow Scotland internationalist Sam Skinner on new deals.

Everitt said: “Simply put, Grant [Gilchrist] loves playing for Edinburgh and that’s been hugely apparent since I joined the club in the summer. He’s a true one-club man that takes a huge amount of pride in representing this team and putting his body on the line for his teammates.

“When Grant speaks, players sit up and listen because of his experience and knowledge of the game. What people perhaps don’t see is the amount of work he puts in away from the training paddock, his analysis and study of both his own game and opponents is second to none.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with Grant so far in my time at the club – I’m delighted to see him agree terms on a new deal.”

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