Di Rollo Signs New Contract....
....& Laidlaw Joins the Gunners
Scotland centre Marcus Di Rollo has signed a further two year deal with the Edinburgh Gunners as Scotland Under 21 scrum-half Greig Laidlaw joins the pro-team.
Di Rollo has played in 20 matches for the capital side this season, scoring two tries with the first coming in the 30-25 Boxing Day victory over the Border Reivers and the second following in the next match against Munster at Murrayfield.
He played in every minute of the first nine matches of the season and was integral in the opening victory over Llanelli Scarlets at Stradey Park Park and the 32-31 Heineken Cup win over London Wasps at the national stadium.
Di Rollo has cemented his place in the centre for the pro-team and also in the blue jersey of Scotland. Having made his international debut as a replacement against the USA on the 2002 tour of North America, he returned for the capped international against Romania last summer. Since then he has started every international, bar the RBS 6 Nations clash with Wales at the Millennium Stadium in February having been ruled out by injury, earning nine caps in total and scoring Scotland's decisive try in the 18-11 win over Samoa in November.
A highlight of Di Rollo's season was the 18-12 Calcutta Cup win over England which arguably produced his best performance for the national side. He made his mark early on with some ferocious tackling before slicing through the England defence in the second half.
Di Rollo said: "It's exciting times at the moment and I'm pleased to have signed again. Between the ages of 27 and 30 it is thought that you are in your prime so I wanted to stay with Edinburgh for that period of my career and give as much as I can to the team.
"I'm looking forward to next season's Celtic League and we are the top Scottish seeds for the Heineken Cup. It's a great squad - a lot of us joined at the same time so I've got some really good friends here," he added.
Gunners' coach Todd Blackadder said: "It's great that Marcus has re-signed and committed his future to the Edinburgh Gunners. The Autumn internationals in December provided a good platform and he showed his quality through the Six Nations.
"He's still young and I think he can reach his full potential in the next few years so it is exciting times for him. This is a very positive signing for Edinburgh at the moment," he added.
Scrum-half Laidlaw, who has signed a two year deal, was a regular fixture in the under 21 side during their recent shadow Six Nations and was among coach Iain Paxton's most consistent performers. He will head to Vichy, France, France with Scotland in June for the IRB Under 21 World Championship.
Laidlaw said: "Obviously I am really pleased to have signed with the Gunners. They have been the top Scottish side this season and have some quality players. I'm looking forward to getting started and working with guys like Mike Blair."
Paxton said: "He came to the world championships in Argentina with us last summer and although he sat on the bench for some of it he just got on with the job in hand without complaining and worked his way up.
"He is a good guy and he's been one of our most consistent performers this year. He understands the game, reads it well and I think the professional environment will help polish his game even further. It is a good signing for the Gunners," he added.
MARCUS DI ROLLO (Edinburgh Gunners and Watsonians) Centre. Born 31.3.78 in Edinburgh. 6ft 1in, 13st 10lb. School - George Watson's College. Marcus Di Rollo made his first Six Nations start in Scotland's victory against the French at Murrayfield in February '06 and though injury forced him to miss the following outing against Wales, he was back for the subsequent win over England. He had made his first start in a Murrayfield Test match in the 2005 Autumn Tests against Argentina, three years after he won his first cap for Scotland as a substitute in the 65-23 victory against the USA in San Francisco. In all he played in five matches on that trip, scoring a brace of tries in the tour opening 38-8 win against Canada East. He next toured with Scotland on the 2004 tour to Australia playing in the matches against Queensland Reds, New South Wales Country and New South Wales Waratahs. He was also in the Scotland starting line-up in the 38-7 victory over the Barbarians in May 2005 and followed that by winning his second cap when he started against Romania in Bucharest. He joined Edinburgh Rugby as a 21 year old and has been a mainstay of their team since. He has represented Scottish Schools Schools and Scotland at U19, U21, Development XV, A and 7s levels. He made his try scoring senior Scotland debut in the uncapped game against the Barbarians in May 2001 with an interception and a stunning run for Scotland's opening score. He completed extensive rehabilitation after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee in September 2002 and sat most of the rest of that season out but returned in the extended RWC Scotland squad in July 2003.
International record: 9 caps. 2002 - USA (rep). 2005 - R Arg Sam NZ. 2006 - F E I It. 5 points - 1 try
GREIG LAIDLAW (Jed-Forest)
Scrum half. Born 12/10/1985 in 12/10/1985. 5ft 8in. 96kg.
Greig David Laidlaw, a nephew of Scotland's legendary scrum half Roy Laidlaw and cousin of Scotland 7s ace Clark Laidlaw, made his under-21 international debut as a replacement in the win against Italy in Inverness in February 2005. He subsequently played in the under-21 world championship in Mendoza, Argentina, Argentina, and he was first-choice scrum half throughout the shadow Six Nations championship this year. His earlier representative rugby included games for Borders' under-16 and under-18 as well as Scotland under-18. Greig was selected to play at scrum-half for the world famous invitation side the Barbarians against the Royal Navy in Plymouth Albion in April 2006 under the captaincy of Springbok great Bobby Skinstad.
International record: Scotland u18A, u18, u21