Jaco van der Walt is latest Edinburgh player to extend stay

Jaco van der Walt
Jaco van der Walt has been a consistent performer in his three years with Edinburgh

Edinburgh are "building a really strong side", says fly-half Jaco van der Walt after signing a contract extension.

The South Africa-born Scotland playmaker, 26, has been with the Murrayfield club since November 2017, scoring 373 points in 66 appearances.

Capped once since qualifying through residency, he has been named in Gregor Townsend's Six Nations squad.

"Playing here has definitely tested my game," said Van der Walt. "I've really had to develop my skills."

He is the fourth Scotland player to commit his future to the club in recent weeks, following deals for Hamish Watson, Jamie Ritchie and Blair Kinghorn.

He said: "I have fallen in love with this city. My wife and I have made it our home and we're delighted to have committed to spending our future together in Edinburgh.

"It's been absolutely brilliant, and my family and the club have played a huge role in supporting my wife and I and encouraging us to chase our dreams.

"I still have a lot more to learn about the game and I'm excited to grow and develop those skills with Edinburgh."

Cockerill & Kinghorn miss Zebre trip

Meanwhile, Edinburgh will be without head coach Richard Cockerill and full-back Blair Kinghorn for Saturday's game against Zebre in Parma.

The duo - and a physiotherapist - did not travel to Italy after a delay in receiving their Covid-19 test results. All three have since returned negative tests.

Jack Blain moves to full-back, with Jamie Farndale taking Kinghorn's place on the wing.

Edinburgh: Blain, Farndale, Bennett, Dean, Sau, Van der Walt, Pyrgos; Schoeman, Cherry, Nel, Hodgson, Gilchrist, Crosbie, Watson, Mata.

Replacements: Willemse, Grahamslaw, Berghan, Haining, Bradbury, Shiel, Chamberlain, Taylor.

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