Edinburgh new boy James Lang keen to focus on centre role
Edinburgh have reversed the recent trend of Scottish players moving to the English Premiership by signing Harlequins pair James Lang and Glen Young.
They will join the club in the summer as Richard Cockerill looks to bolster his side for next season.
At 25 and 26 respectively, Lang and Young are in their prime and their capture is a coup for the capital side who will lose winger Duhan van der Merwe to Worcester at the end of the current campaign.
Lang, who played for Scotland in the autumn wins over Georgia, Wales and Italy, has experience of playing at stand-off but sees himself primarily as an inside centre.
Young, a former Scotland under-20 international, is a second-row forward who has five seasons’ experience of playing in the English top division, first with Newcastle Falcons and then Quins.
“It’s great to announce a couple of new faces to show how our plans for the future continue to take shape,” said Cockerill, the Edinburgh head coach.
“James and Glen are quality, experienced individuals – one of them an international, the other of international quality. They’ll add a new dynamic to our depth and competition for places in a number of areas.”
Lang has made 73 appearances for Harlequins – scoring 11 tries and 204 points – since joining in 2016. He said: “I’ve played across the backline at Quins and I want to focus on my centre-play, at 12. My aim is to do that and put my best foot forward for Edinburgh, which will hopefully, in turn, help me pursue more international honours as well.”
Young hails from Jedburgh and came through the ranks at Riverside Park before beginning his professional career with Newcastle. He moved to Quins in 2019.
“I’ve been in the English Premiership since I was 18 and enjoyed it but am now really looking forward to a new challenge in a new competition,” said the 6ft 7in 118kg lock.
“Edinburgh is perfect for me. I spoke to Cockers and was encouraged by where he sees me fitting in but also with the areas of my game he can help me improve on.”
Young comes from good sporting stock - his father, Dougie, won a boxing silver medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh in the heavyweight decision and also fought at the 1984 Olympic Games.
Calum MacRae, Edinburgh’s defence coach, worked with Young during the player’s formative years at Newcastle and received a glowing a reference from Dean Richards, the club’s director of rugby.
“He’s got nearly 60 first team games in the Premiership or Europe, and it is just a really good fit for us, said MacRae. “Having spoken to Dean Richards about him, he calls the lineout really well.
“There are areas of the game where we will look to improve him but his raw materials are excellent. From my side, his mobility as a tight-five forward is excellent, and I think we can work on some of the parts that we put a premium on to make sure he gives himself the best possible chance to push some of the other guys in the squad.”
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