Scotland International centre Richie Vernon will head south of the border from Glasgow Warriors and will join London Scottish for the 2018/19 season.
The 24 cap Scottish International was most recently called into the Scotland squad in the 2018 Natwest Six Nations as Scotland prepared to take on Italy in Rome and has appeared at two separate World Cups. Firstly as a back rower in 2011 then, more recently as a centre in 2015.
Dundee native Vernon won his first cap for Scotland as a replacement in the Bank of Scotland Corporate Autumn Test win against Fiji at Murrayfield in November 2009. A year on, he made his first Scotland start against New Zealand. Vernon has also represented his country on the 7s circuit, appearing for Scotland during 2005-2008. Vernon also achieved honours by representing the Under 19s in the Junior World Cup in 2006.
London Scottish Chairman Malcolm Offord, who has been instrumental in bringing Vernon to London, is elated to be able to bring a player of Richie’s quality to the Greene King IPA Championship and London Scottish.
“This is a significant signing for London Scottish. Richie is an International rugby player and to have him in our squad next season is a real statement of aspiration for the Club. I have been so impressed by Richie’s drive to continue playing top level sport while preparing for life after rugby. We are looking forward to working with Richie and helping him with his transition into a career in The City.”
The 101-kilogram back row come centre is a determined and driven character, he is currently sitting his exams for a business and economics degree having already achieved his investment management certificate.
“I’m really excited to join London Scottish” Richie said. “I enjoyed hearing the vision that the management have for the club and was immediately convinced it was the right move. This unique opportunity was too good to pass up.”
Vernon arrives in the English capital with a huge pedigree of rugby on his CV having made ninety-eight appearances for Glasgow Warriors whilst having spells at Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership and previously for Border Reivers. Vernon was an influential member of the Glasgow Warriors side that won the Pro12 back in 2015.
Glasgow Warriors Head Coach, Dave Rennie, said: “Richie is an incredibly good man and has contributed a hell of a lot to the club over a number of years. We wish him well transitioning into life after rugby with London Scottish.”
Director of Rugby Dave Morris was understandably thrilled to get Richie to join the Exiles ahead of next season.
“When chatting to Richie, it was immediately obvious that he was a high calibre individual. His rugby CV speaks for itself. The fact he has played international rugby in the back row and at centre is a remarkable feat. His leadership qualities and rugby acumen will be a fantastic asset for us. Game management was a slight problem for us last season and Richie’s experience will be of massive value to us next season in the closing of tight games. We are delighted to welcome Richie and his wife to the London Scottish family.”
Vernon will combine his leadership from playing for Scotland and his rugby pedigree with moving into the working world. He will utilise London Scottish’s unique positioning and strong connections in the London whilst continuing his rugby career at Scottish.
Jill Maxwell, Global Head of Sponsorship at club sponsors, Aberdeen Standard Investments said, “We are pleased to hear the news that Richie will be signing with London Scottish, in what is a great coup for the club. At Aberdeen Standard Investments it is important to align ourselves with partners who share our values and this announcement shows the clubs aspirations to continue moving forward in the pursuit of excellence. We wish Richie well and look forward to seeing him playing next season.”
Vernon is a marquee addition to what is looking like a stellar Scottish squad for 2018/19. The Scotland International will join the likes of returning Hall of Famer Mark Bright, ex-Bath and England Under 20 Rory Jennings, ex-Saracen Jared Saunders and a wealth of exciting young talent.