Scotland prop Geoff Cross extends Edinburgh stay

Edinburgh prop Geoff Cross
Cross made his international debut against Wales in 2009

Scotland prop Geoff Cross has signed a new deal with Edinburgh which will keep him at the club until 2014.

Fellow front-rowers Lewis Niven and Robin Hislop have also penned two and three-year deals respectively.

29-year-old Cross has won eight caps since making his debut in 2009, featuring twice at the World Cup in New Zealand in October.

"There's a good set of guys here and I'm enjoying the challenges that we've got ahead of us," said Cross.

And Cross believes that Edinburgh can become a force in rugby in the near future.

"I'm really excited to be staying at Edinburgh," he told BBC Scotland.

"I think there's an opportunity, with the guys coming through and the environment and the culture that we're trying to create, that we can build this club into something that can challenge for knockout stages of competitions and challenge for silverware."

"That's a really exciting future to be able to commit to."

The qualified doctor is also excited at the prospect of facing London Irish in the Heineken Cup, in a match which could see Edinburgh reach the quarter-finals of the competition for just the second time.

Cross said: "This coming match is a first for me in European competition because we have a real chance to make the quarter-finals, which makes it very important and very exciting.

"London Irish are a fantastic side and have some of the best counter-attacking skills of any team we've faced so it's going to be a fantastic challenge."

However, head coach Michael Bradley insisted that the contract deals showed the club would not be caught up in the excitement generated over Sunday's match.

"It's fantastic for the club to be able to announce the contract extensions of three very talented and technical athletes at such an exciting time for the club," he said.

"It's testimony to Edinburgh Rugby's ambition that, at a time when everyone's caught up in the Heineken Cup hysteria today, there's a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to ensure we're back here tomorrow."

Niven, 21, has made 21 appearances for Edinburgh since making his professional debut last season, while 19-year-old Hislop has made seven appearances.

"The games I've played in have been a massive step up but I've really enjoyed it and is something I want to do a lot more," said Hislop.

"The next objective is to push for a start and continue to learn from players like Allan Jacobsen, Ross Ford and Geoff Cross, Scotland's front-row, and pick up all I can from them in training."