SCOTLAND flanker Hamish Watson has signed a new two-year deal to stay at Edinburgh until May 2019.

The 25-year-old has won five Scotland caps since making his debut in the 2015 RBS 6 Nations.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be staying at Edinburgh, it’s a great club with a great squad, coaching team and backroom staff, and I love the city,” said back-rower Watson.

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“I feel that this club is right for me to continue developing my game, and a place for me to stay and build on my Scotland caps.

“The club is going in the right direction and there’s a lot that can be achieved with this squad, and that’s something I want to be a part of in the coming seasons.”

Manchester-born Watson has made 66 senior appearances since switching to Edinburgh’s academy from Leicester Tigers in 2011, and qualifies for Scotland through his grandparents.

“Hamish is an outstanding individual, who gives everything for the team every time he’s on the park,” said acting head coach Duncan Hodge.

“He has worked extremely hard to develop his game over the last couple of seasons, and his efforts have paid dividends as he continues to perform and improve in an Edinburgh jersey.

“As a coaching team, we are delighted Hamish has committed to the club for a further two seasons.”

Meanwhile, Cardiff lock George Earle has failed with his appeal against an eight-week suspension for eye gouging.

Earle was sent off in Cardiff’s 38-3 European Challenge Cup loss to Bath on December 15 for making contact with the eye area of flanker Tom Ellis.

The 30-year-old was later hit with the two-month ban despite pleading not guilty, and has now had his appeal thrown out too. “An independent appeal committee has decided not to allow an appeal by the Cardiff Blues player, George Earle,” read a statement from EPCR.