Guinness PRO12: Nathan Fowles secures permanent Edinburgh move

Scotland-qualified scrum-half pens a one-year deal after impressing on loan move from Sale Sharks

By Gareth Llewellyn

Nathan Fowles has made his loan move to Edinburgh permanent after impressing coaches at the Guinness PRO12 club.

Following a season-ending injury to Sean Kennedy, the 22-year-old was signed from Sale Sharks as cover for Sam Hidalgo-Clyne and Grayson Hart for the remainder of the season.

We’ve seen that in the last few weeks, going from the quarter-final through to a first European final for the club, which is massive, and I’m excited to be part of it.

Nathan Fowles on his move from Sale Sharks to Edinburgh

With Hart joining rivals Glasgow Warriors in the summer, Fowles will provide competition for Hidalgo-Clyne and Kennedy next season.

And after making four appearances for the club since arriving in Edinburgh, he already has his sights on playing a part in their European Challenge Cup final against Gloucester at The Stoop on Friday 1 May.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far, they’re a good bunch of lads, great backroom staff and Edinburgh’s an ambitious club,” Fowles said.

“We’ve seen that in the last few weeks, going from the quarter-final through to a first European final for the club, which is massive, and I’m excited to be part of it.

“Starting against Munster has been a high point.

“I know the result didn’t go our way, but it was nice to get that first start and get into my game a little bit more.

“Obviously the cup semi-final was great and I felt really privileged to be part of it.

“A lot of lads have worked really hard to get us to that point and it would be great to be involved in the final, which is going to be a massive occasion.”

The Rochdale-born youngster began the season with the Sharks, with most of his appearances coming in the LV=Cup and as a replacement in the Salford club’s European Champions Cup campaign before heading to the city of his grandfather’s birth.

He’s a talented player, a confident player, a strong little guy and I think he’ll be an asset to Edinburgh.

Alan Solomons on scrum-half Nathan Fowles

Fowles was thrown straight into the mix for the Gunners’ PRO12 defeat to Ulster, but was an unused replacement, having to wait until Edinburgh’s away trip to Cardiff Blues on 1 March to make his debut.

His first start came in the 34-3 defeat to Munster when he was promoted from the bench when Hidalgo-Clyne was withdrawn before kick-off and he came off the bench in Edinburgh’s 45-16 win over Newport Gwent Dragons to reach the European Challenge Cup final.

Edinburgh head coach Alan Solomons admitted last month that he was considering a permanent move for Fowles after being impressed with how quickly he had settled in the Scottish capital.

“I’ve been very impressed with him,” Solomons said.

“He’s intelligent, so he’s absorbed the systems very quickly, both in defence and attack.

“I came down last week when Derek Paterson takes our scrummies and he’s got a beautiful service; he’s a very good box kicker.

“He’s a talented player, a confident player, a strong little guy and I think he’ll be an asset to Edinburgh.

“He’s here on loan at the moment and it’s a great opportunity to really get to know the boy, and to get to see him interact with the other players.

“At the moment, everything is positive about him.

“I’m impressed with him as an individual and he’s got talent.”

Edinburgh have also confirmed that Alex Toolis has signed a new one-year deal with the club.

The 23-year-old lock joined the club with brother Ben on an academy contract from the New South Wales Waratahs in 2013, before signing a professional deal last summer.

While his brother has flourished in the second row for Edinburgh, Alex has seen his opportunities in the PRO12 limited, playing most of his rugby in the BT Premiership with, Edinburgh Accies, while he also spent a few weeks on loan with Glasgow Warriors as cover during the RBS 6 Nations.

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