Chris Dean taking nothing for granted as he thinks new deal with Edinburgh Rugby

Chris Dean attempts to elude the tackle of Wasps’ Jimmy Gopperth during Edinburgh’s recent Challenge Cup quarter-final. (Photo by Ross Parker/SNS Group)

The 28-year-old has put pen to paper on a contract extension with the capital club and is in the frame to play in this weekend’s 1872 Cup clash with Glasgow Warriors at Murrayfield.

It’s now seven years since Dean made his Edinburgh debut and his enthusiasm for the club remains undimmed but he confessed to nursing some doubts about whether he would be offered a new deal.

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“I’ll be quite honest – I probably didn’t finish last year playing my best rugby and then you have a new coach and it took a long time for an opportunity,” he said. “And I guess like anyone, you lose a bit of confidence but as soon as you get back out there it’s like second nature.”

Dean had to watch from the sidelines as James Lang and Cammy Hutchison made the early running for Edinburgh at inside center this season but the North Berwick man seized his opportunity against Ulster last month, coming on in the second minute when Lang picked up a knee injury .

He impressed in the 16-10 defeat at the DAM Health Stadium and retained his place for the Challenge Cup clash against Wasps the following week when he provided a pair of offload assists in another narrow reverse.

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Chris Dean has signed a new contract with Edinburgh Rugby. (Photo by Paul Devlin/SNS Group)

“Because I’m getting on a little bit and there is a finite time on how long you can play, I think a lot of the focus was on just trying to get back and not taking any opportunity for granted, and really enjoying it, ” he said.

“Playing in the last couple of games in front of a home crowd has been absolutely electrifying and probably some of the best memories I’ve had in a home shirt. Even though it’s been two losses, the feeling of being on the pitch and the crowd has been absolutely epic and has reinvigorated me to enjoy just playing and to push for next year as well.”

Dean has enjoyed some special moments against Glasgow, most notably in December 2017 at Murrayfield when his late try secured a dramatic 18-17 victory for the home side who played for 74 minutes with 14 men following Simon Berghan’s red card.

“I always really look forward to it,” he said of the fixture. “Having been here so long I understand how much it means to everyone. There are not many of us left who have been here for five-plus years. But for those guys, like Gilcho [captain Grant Gilchrist] who is really passionate, you can tell it means a lot. And I think that feeds through the team.

“You have to bring your best in these games and it’s always exciting to finish the season with this game, particularly with a big crowd. It’s been a few years since that.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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