Edinburgh Rugby continued to power up their playing squad for next season with the signing of a pair of quality second-row forwards, both on two year deals.
Following the confirmed departure of Esteban Lozada, the club has acted swiftly to bolster the boiler house with the capture of Perry-John Parker from English Championship side, Esher, and elite development player and Scotland under-20 cap Robert McAlpine, who will join the 2012 Heineken Cup semi-finalists until 2014.
Parker and McAlpine join six other new faces making their way to Murrayfield next season, including South African prop WP Nel; All Black back and former Junior World Player of the Year, Ben Atiga; and Welsh caps John Yapp (prop) and Richie Rees (scrum-half), while 19 of the club’s top performing players have extended contracts.
Head coach Michael Bradley, said: “It’s very exciting for Edinburgh Rugby to have secured two very promising young locks at crucial stages of their respective careers.
“While we’ll continue to refine the expansive, attacking play for which the club is famous, we’re keen to introduce a harder, more aggressive edge to our play, and believe this pair will work tirelessly to lay the platform from which our back division can play.
“Both players have real quality, are exceptionally committed, and will develop into top-class second-rows for Edinburgh Rugby.”
At 6’8” and 118kg, 24-year-old Parker is a fast, dynamic ball-carrying second-row, renowned for his pace, contact skills and deft touch in the lineout.
In his early 20s, he captained Haywards Heath before making a big impression with Esher in his debut championship season, before looking to progress his career at a higher level.
The big lock explained that when the call came, he jumped at the chance to pull on the black and red of Edinburgh Rugby.
He said: “I knew that the Edinburgh Rugby coaches had seen some of my tapes so I was delighted to get the chance to meet them and talk about the club’s achievements, ambitions and off-field culture.
“It’s a massive opportunity for me. To be in the mix with a club like Edinburgh Rugby is really exciting.
“The club’s quarter-final win over Toulouse was inspirational and I can’t wait to be part of that next season.”