McAndrew impresses at Edinburgh Rugby

Murdo McAndrew in action for Melrose
Murdo McAndrew in action for Melrose

Melrose scrum-half Murdo McAndrew has joined Edinburgh on a four-month trial period.

The former Scotland Under-20 player has been pre-season training with the pro-team and impressed the coaching staff sufficiently to be given the opportunity.

He could now make his Edinburgh debut on Friday evening in the pre-season friendly against Romania at The Greenyards, where he has been playing his club rugby following a two-year stint playing for Clermont Auvergne’s age-grade side in France.

McAndrew said: “I am delighted to get this opportunity. I went through a tough pre-season with the club and it’s great to get rewarded with this chance to show what I can do.

“I had a good season with Melrose last year and trained the whole of this pre-season with Edinburgh, as the club needed scrum-half cover.

“Everyone at the club has been really friendly and welcoming and the senior players have been really helpful over the last few months, so I know I have plenty of people I can go to for advice.”

McAndrew, 21, is a product of the Howe of Fife club where his dad, Les, was minis coach. He went on to lift the Brewin Dolphin Plate as a member of the Bell Baxter High School team in 2009.

Then at age grade international level, he represented Caledonia at under-16, under-17 and under-18, winning the inter-district championships at the younger age grades.

After impressing in the Rugby Europe (formerly FIRA) Championships in France with Scotland under-18 in 2012, he was spotted and signed by Clermont Auvergne, straight from school, and spent two years there prior to returning to Scotland to play for Melrose last season.

He said: “Moving to France at a relatively young age was fairly daunting but it was an excellent opportunity to develop my skills there, at a time when Nathan Hines, Jason White and Mark Bennett were also involved with the club.

“Then I got the opportunity to return to Scotland and was able to get more game time last season at Melrose.”

McAndrew made his Scotland under-20 debut against Ireland in the Six Nations opener in January 2014 and went on to win another three caps at that level that season.

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons said: “Murdo is a talented young club player who has fitted in well at Edinburgh.

“He has earned the opportunity afforded to him which accords with our vision of building a sustainable club through the medium of young Scottish talent.”

Edinburgh play Romania at The Greenyards, in the first of their two warm-up games, on Friday night (kick-off 6.30pm), following on from last year’s highly attended pre-season match at the ground.