Former Blues youngster joins Edinburgh
TRANSFER NEWS: Edinburgh have secured the signature of former Blues playmaker Simon Hickey from Bordeaux Bègles on a two-year deal.
The 23-year-old will join the Pro14 side at the end of the season.
Upon signing for the capital side, Hickey said: "After meeting with Richard Cockerill, and seeing the club’s recent results, I had no hesitation about joining Edinburgh.
"I’m really excited about the prospect of playing for the club, especially as they’re looking to play an exciting brand of rugby which will suit my style of play. Edinburgh is a team on the rise, and I have no doubt that they’re headed in a successful direction under Richard Cockerill and the rest of the coaching staff.
"I look forward to linking up with my future teammates next season, settling into what is a wonderful city and hopefully playing a part in the club's future success,"
Hickey began his career at Auckland-based King’s College, a school that has produced several All Blacks legends including Ali Williams and Ian Kirkpatrick. He captained the college's rugby and cricket 1st XV before quickly ascending into the senior rugby ranks, making his Auckland debut off the bench during the provincial side’s 59-16 win over Manawatu at Eden Park.
The New Zealander captained his country at Under-20 level during the 2014 Junior World Championship in his homeland, playing a pivotal role in the Baby Blacks’ trip to a third-place finish. During the tournament, the traditional powerhouse defeated a Scotland side featuring current Edinburgh team-mates Magnus Bradbury, Jamie Ritchie, Lewis Carmichael, Cameron Fenton and Damien Hoyland.
Hickey made his first appearance for the Blues in February 2014 and marked his debut for the three-time Super Rugby champions during a rousing 35-24 triumph over the Crusaders, contributing 15 points from the boot. Hickey went onto make 16 appearances for the Blues, scoring 124 points in the process, before announcing his decision to join French Top 14 side Bordeaux-Begles in October 2015. He has since notched 235 points in 28 appearances for the Stade-Chabane Delmas outfit.
Edinburgh head coach Richard Cockerill said: "Simon is a creative young playmaker that already has a lot of experience playing in Super Rugby and the Top 14. We’re developing some real competition at 10 and I believe he will be a strong addition to an exciting Edinburgh backline.
"I’m delighted that having seen the culture and environment we’re building here at Edinburgh, he’s chosen to join the club for the next two years,"
Meanwhile, 25-year-old prop Elliot Millar-Mills has joined the club from Yorkshire Carnegie to provide cover at tight-head for the remainder of the season.
The brother of Scotland Women’s internationalist Bridget and England Women’s cap Harriet, Millar-Mills qualifies to play for Scotland through his mother Elspeth who is from Hamilton.
The prop flew out to South Africa with the Edinburgh squad as they prepare to take on the Cheetahs in their first PRO14 fixture in the Southern Hemisphere on Friday.
On joining the capital club, he said: “I’m really excited to join at such a crucial time for the club - there are some really big games over the coming weeks. I’m learning a lot from Richard Cockerill, Roddy Grant and the other players, so, for now, I’m just soaking up as much as I can and working hard in training to try and earn a spot in this team.”
Cockerill added: “Elliot is a good young player and will provide cover in the front row for the rest of the season. I’m looking forward to seeing how he gets on in the months ahead.”