Richard Cockerill confirms Edinburgh talks with Boan Venter but says Rory Sutherland is going nowhere

Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill has confirmed that the club have held talks with South African prop Boan Venter but has dismissed speculation that Rory Sutherland is on his way out.

Edinburgh have held talks with South African prop Boan Venter of Toyota Cheetahs.
Edinburgh have held talks with South African prop Boan Venter of Toyota Cheetahs.

The Hawick loosehead has been linked with Worcester Warriors this week but Cockerill gave the report short shrift.

“Rory’s under contract for another 18 months so there is nothing in it whatsoever,” said the capital coach.

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Cockerill, who has also been credited with an interest in Harlequins and Scotland stand-off/centre James Lang, is keen to bolster his options and the departure last week of James Bhatti to Bath frees up a space at loosehead which is likely to be filled by Cheetahs prop Venter.

Edinburgh prop Rory Sutherland has been linked with Worcester but is contracted to the capital club for another 18 months. Picture: Ross Parker/SNS

“We are always looking to strengthen our squad,” said Cockerill. “Jamie Bhatti has moved on. If there is an opportunity to get a player in that will strengthen our stocks we will look at that. Boan is one of a few we have been looking at and talking to.

“Rory Sutherland as well as Pierre Schoeman (who will become Scottish qualified next summer) will be away with Scotland for large chunks. It is a position we are looking to strengthen.”

Cockerill said there was “nothing to report” on a possible move for Lang but admitted stand-off was a position in need of reinforcing, particularly now that Jaco van der Walt is part of the Scotland squad and could miss several Edinburgh matches during the Six Nations.

“Ten is one of the positions we are looking at, or players that can play in that position and others. With the limited finances we have we are trying to get the best out of what we can,” said the coach.

The Scottish pro teams suffered more than most during the autumn window with so many players absent on international duty but Cockerill denied this had pushed him into a position where it made more sense to sign non-Scotland qualified players.

“No, I don’t think so. If you look at the positions in which we have non-Scottish qualified players, we also have a very strong contingent of SQ players. At loosehead, for example, we have Sam Grahamslaw, Rory Sutherland and Pierre Schoeman who will soon become a Scotsman. If 75 per cent of our looseheads are Scottish qualified it’s a pretty good ratio, isn’t it?”

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