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Brendan Laney, Edinburgh Rugby's international stand off/centre, is leaving the Gunners to join Yamaha Rugby club in Iwata, Japan on a two-year contract beginning in June.

Edinburgh Rugby head coach Frank Hadden today hailed Laney's "outstanding" contribution to the club's development.

"I cannot speak too highly of his input over the last three-and-a-half years. He has played 76 times for us and amassed 409 points from 15 tries, 69 penalties, 53 conversions and seven drop-goals.

"He was a match winner on many occasions and I know the fans will never forget his try from 40 metres to win the game against Toulouse - ask Vincent Clerc, the French international wing, who chased him all the way if Brendan was short of pace!"

"On three separate occasions Brendan won matches for us, all away from home, against Leinster, Ulster and the Dragons, with the last kick of the game, so that spoke volumes for his temperament.

"His main quality as a player is his ability to see space and even more importantly he knows how to exploit that space both for himself and others. These gifts are not bestowed on many in our country and it enabled him to act as a catalyst for the players round about him.

"His enthusiasm, confidence and communication skills also set him apart from some team-mates who are a wee bit reserved and I'm sure that his demeanour rubbed off on those who were fortunate enough to play with him. It saddens me that some people were never able to appreciate the magnitude of Brendan's contribution. We wish him well in Japan. We will miss him and we'll never forget him."

Laney said: "I have had a fantastic time here with Edinburgh Rugby but it is now time to move on.

"It has been great taking Edinburgh from our position three years ago to where we are now. Obviously being involved in the first Scottish team to reach the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup last year was brilliant and from a Scotland point of view, my first cap and beating South Africa is something I will never forget.

"I have a lot of people to thank while I have been in Edinburgh but I'll get round as many as I can before I leave.

"It's going to be an exciting two years with a new environment that I'll have to get used to. Also getting my brain around the Japanese language is going to be hard work. It is encouraging that the team I am going to, play an expansive game which is what I am used to here at Edinburgh and I'm looking forward to adding to the team performance."

Scott Murray, Edinburgh Rugby lock forward, said: "He is one of my best buddies on and off the park and has been one of Edinburgh's best and most influential players over the past few years. He will be sorely missed."

Todd Blackadder, player/coach, said: "Brendan will be a tremendous loss to us. He has brought great leadership to the team and he has been a great team man. He is one of the characters within our team. It is hard to say all the things that Brendan has brought to us, but people who know Brendan and watch him play will know the qualities I am talking about. He has been great and I wish him and wife Miranda well in their new adventures. More importantly I am looking forward to playing the rest of the season with him."

BRENDAN LANEY (Murrayfield Wanderers and Edinburgh Rugby). Centre/stand-off. Born in Invercargill, New Zealand on 16/11/73. 6ft,15st 6lbs. Brendan James Laney scored the last of Scotland's six tries in their RWC Countdown Test success over Italy, having joined the action as a second-half sub. He then supplied the Scots' only points in their loss to Wales and appeared again against Wales for his next Scotland appearance in the 2004 Six Nations. In November 2002 he reached the 100 points mark for Scotland after just nine Tests when he supplied 12 points in the 37-10 win against Romania. He thus equalled Gavin Hastings' record as fastest Scot to a century of points. He followed on by kicking 11 points in Scotland's 21-6 win against South Africa and scoring 14 (one try and three penalties) a week later against Fiji. Earlier that year he was Famous Grouse Man of the Match in Scotland's 29-12 win against Italy. His points haul in that game - 24 - was a record for a Scot in the Six Nations Championship. He followed that with a 100% goal-kicking record when he landed five penalties and one conversion in Scotland's loss in Dublin. In the 27-22 victory against Wales, Laney added 14 points to take his Championship tally to 60 points. On the tour of North America he played in four of the six games, notching 20 points in the 65-23 Test win against the US Eagles. He made his Scotland debut against New Zealand in the 2001 Autumn Tests. He joined Edinburgh Rugby only the week before that game after a glittering career with Otago and Otago Highlanders. He qualifies for Scotland through a maternal grandmother from Glasgow. He was Otago's top points scorer in 2001 (135) which included the best individual try haul (11). Educated at Timaru Boys College, Laney worked in Dunedin as a barman and a sales rep before he embarked on a professional rugby career with Otago. He made his Otago debut in 1995 out of the Kaikorai club and two years later made his Super 12 debut for the Highlanders against Auckland Blues. He has also played for New Zealand under-21s and New Zealand Barbarians.

International record: 20 caps. 2001 - NZ. 2002 - E It I F W C USA R SA Fj. 2003 - I F SA2 (rep) It (rep) W. 2004 - W E It I(rep) Points: 141 - 4 tries, 17 conversions, 29 penalties.

Note to editors: Yamaha Motor Company is the parent company of Yamaha Rugby Football Club and Jubilo, a top soccer club which was once the Yamaha Football Club. Yamaha is one of the top four clubs in Japan. They made the semi-finals of the Japanese league last year. They are coached by the former All Blacks winger Grant Batty and former Fiji back Tabai Matson.