Bennett re-signs ahead of 1872 Cup finale
Scotland international centre Mark Bennett has re-signed with Edinburgh, ahead of this Saturday’s 1872 Cup finale at BT Murrayfield.
Bennett, 29, has been in sensational form in 2021/22 – scoring eight tries in 15 appearances – and pens a new deal as the capital club prepare to host Glasgow Warriors in Saturday’s blockbuster regular season finale (21 May, kick-off 6.30pm), which will decide the winner of both the 1872 Cup and Scottish x Italian Shield, and thus the final Champions Cup spot.
The Olympic Silver Medallist joins fellow Scotland internationalists Pierre Schoeman, Luke Crosbie, Damien Hoyland and Grant Gilchrist in extending terms with the capital club, with young academy graduates Connor Boyle (22), Matt Currie (21) and Cammy Hutchison (23) also signed up for next season.
Bennett said: “I’m really happy to be staying at Edinburgh Rugby. It’s a great place to be, we are playing some brilliant flowing rugby and building a great home at DAM Health Stadium. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Bennett made history by becoming the first Edinburgh player to score at DAM Health Stadium after crossing the whitewash in September’s Scottish Building Society Pre-Season Series match against Newcastle Falcons.
The former Cumnock RFC star’s try-scoring exploits continued in the URC season opener against Scarlets, while Bennett once again stepped up to the plate in November’s home victory over Vodacom Bulls, slotting home a late penalty in the driving rain to secure all four points.
That form saw Bennett named in Scotland’s 2022 Guinness Six Nations squad where the centre earned caps number 23 and 24 in Test matches against France and Ireland.
An impressive start to the year meant Bennett picked up January’s Scottish Building Society Player of the Month award, illustrated by a dominant performance against Cardiff Rugby which saw the centre make 135 metres and nine tackle breaks in the 34-10 victory.
Head Coach Mike Blair added: “I’ve absolutely loved working with Mark [Bennett] this season. He’s really come into his own as a leader and we’ve been really impressed with the way he’s carried himself around our younger players too.
“We all know Mark is a threat with ball in hand and that’s been more evident than ever this season. His work rate around the park is exceptional and he’s playing with a smile on his face too which is really important.
“We have a lot of young Scottish players developing into the team, so having smart, experienced guys like Mark is absolutely vital to the way we play. He’s going to have a massive role to play in both the 1872 Cup decider and URC play-offs.”
Having today extended terms with the capital club, Bennett will be hoping to continue his fine form – which has seen the centre cross the whitewash four times in the last four games – into Saturday’s intercity derby decider.
Bennett continued: “This Saturday’s match is huge with regards to the play-offs and Europe next season. There’s no better match than the 1872 Cup. BT Murrayfield will be bouncing and there’s all to play for.”