Neil Cochrane: Retiring hooker among 16 to depart Edinburgh

Neil Cochrane scores a try for Edinburgh
Neil Cochrane has made over 70 appearances for Edinburgh

Hooker Neil Cochrane has announced he will retire at the end of the season, and is one of 16 players to leave Edinburgh in the summer.

The 34-year-old has made 72 appearances since joining from Wasps in 2014.

Head coach Richard Cockerill confirmed Kevin and Glenn Bryce, Robbie Fruean, Elliot Millar-Mills, Matt Shields, Jason Harries, Jordan Lay, Tom Galbraith will depart with Cochrane.

"I'm very privileged to have played the sport for 13 years," Cochrane said.

"It's been brilliant to have finished my career at my hometown club, Edinburgh.

"I've made some great memories and even more importantly met some great friends along the way.

"I firmly believe the club can be successful this season and I look forward to watching that success grow once I hang up my boots."

Cochrane, a Scotland age-grade international, was called into the Six Nations training squad in January but has not won a senior cap.

He will pursue a career in commercial building surveying when the season ends.

"I obtained a building surveying degree whilst playing - something I felt passionate about - and I'm delighted to have secured a full-time job with a local Edinburgh commercial building surveying firm," the hooker said.

"To my family, I'll be eternally grateful for your support and I could not have done it without you."

The outgoing contingent

Brothers Kevin and Glenn Bryce joined Edinburgh from Glasgow Warriors ahead of the 2016-17 season, but converted prop Kevin struggled for game time and moved on loan to English Championship side Yorkshire Carnegie this year.

Versatile back Glenn has been utilised frequently by Scotland Sevens, for whom he will feature in Hong Kong this weekend and at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Robbie Fruean and John Hardie in Edinburgh training
Robbie Fruean, left, and John Hardie will leave Edinburgh at the end of the season

Marquee summer signing Fruean, 29, has a history of heart problems, and the centre has not featured for Edinburgh since October.

Props Millar-Mills, Shields and Lay were signed during the season as short-term front-row cover, and will leave when their respective deals expire.

Welsh winger Jason Harries has made nine appearances since arriving at the start of the campaign, scoring two tries, but his Edinburgh stay will not be extended beyond the one-year contract he signed.

Centre Tom Galbraith was promoted from the Scottish Rugby academy last summer, but has failed to make an appearance for Cockerill's side.

The head coach had already confirmed Scotland back-rows John Hardie and Cornell du Preez, scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, stand-offs Duncan Weir and Jason Tovey, and centres Phil Burleigh and Junior Rasolea would be moving on next term.

South African-born Du Preez will join ex-Edinburgh boss Alan Solomons at Worcester Warriors.

Scotland captain John Barclay will join Cockerill's squad next season, while international centre Matt Scott will return to the club from Gloucester.

Former New Zealand Under-20 fly-half Simon Hickey, Argentina back Juan Pablo Socino, London Scottish hooker Dave Cherry and Italy prop Pietro Ceccarelli are also incoming.

While Edinburgh are close to securing a deal for Bulls front-row Pierre Schoeman.

The Scots host Ulster at Murrayfield on Friday knowing victory will secure their first-ever Pro14 play-off.

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