After 8 years of playing professional rugby in Scotland, I am now entering a significant and exciting new stage in my career and find myself reflecting upon the journey so far. In 2005 I began training with Edinburgh Rugby, and had a year with Borders Rugby before moving back to the capital city, where I have been ever since. In the last 7 years I have seen much change, but primarily I have made great friends for life and I have settled with Edinburgh as my home – something that I doubt will ever change. This is the city where I bought my first house, where my daughter was born, and where my family live. I have always felt a great attachment to Edinburgh Rugby and have a sense of loyalty towards the fans and the club that will remain. With a club like Edinburgh Rugby, you get to know the fans by first name, you meet their children and you have a drink with them at the bar. I will always be grateful for their support.
My time with Edinburgh rugby has seen some great highs for me personally. It is here that I have learnt my rugby, I have been coached by some greats, and have played alongside, and opposite, some legends of the game. Many of these inspiring people I am proud to call friends. I have made 125 appearances for my club, one of the most memorable being reaching the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup in 2012 – the same week that my daughter was born. That was an emotional game! Working at Murrayfield has also given me the chance to meet the likes of Gerard Butler, Chris Hoy and Sam Torrance! The stability of being with one club has also allowed me to begin a Masters, so I will be taking my studying with me to France.
Whilst I have not switched clubs since the Borders, I am really excited by the opportunity to move to the south of France. I like an adventure, and the chance to live in a foreign country, to learn a new language and to immerse myself in a new culture is tantalizing. As part of my age grade rugby I scored a try in the U19s Six Nations in France against the home team. I then played U19s World Cup there and was incredibly impressed at the passion for the game and the inspiration that the players are to young children. This sparked a desire in me to one day play over there, and now is my chance. Biarritz Olympique is a huge part of the town’s identity and they take their rugby seriously – the history of the club is amazing. I currently feel that I am playing some of the best rugby of my career this season and my personal aspiration in Biarritz is to help the team back into the Top 14 and be an ambassador for both the club and the sport.
Nick De Luca