Hawke's Bay swoop on talented Liam Edwards
South Canterbury fullback Liam Edwards is flying north to become a Magpie after signing to play for Hawke's Bay in next year's national championship.
The 22-year-old played his club rugby for Dunedin but has been a loan player for South Canterbury in the past two seasons in the Heartland competition.
A player with great vision and speed, he also impressed as the Heartland's top points scorer for the past two seasons and was also the top try scorer in 2013.
Despite his small frame, Edwards strikes the ball well and can land penalty kicks from 50 metres out.
His defence can sometimes be called into question but overall he has plenty of potential.
Edwards, who has also been the South Canterbury Supporters' Club Player of the Year two years running, will take some replacing.
The talented fullback was also being courted by Tasman, but opted for Napier.
Tasman won promotion to the Premiership division by holding off Hawke's Bay with a thrilling 26-25 win last month.
Edwards help South Canterbury lift the Lochore Cup and will move north after he completes his sevens duties for Otago.
His manager, Cam Kilgour, was delighted for him.
"It's awesome really for Liam and bodes well for the Heartland Championship, that if you play there and perform you are on the bigger unions' radar."
Former Buller first-five Marty Banks proved a step up can be successful, proving a hit with Tasman this season, he said.
Kilgour said Edwards had been set up with a club and was in the Hawke's Bay wider training squad.
"If he performs and is good enough he will get a full contract when the season starts."
Kilgour said Edwards had been given a number of ‘work-ons' but he was happy to try to improve.
South Canterbury Heartland coach Chester Scott said it was fantastic news that Edwards had made the step up.
"He's been a great player for our side and it has also been great for his development."
Scott said the Heartland competition was certainly a pathway for players.
"Over the last three years Sam Beard, Rick McKenna and Liam have all played for us and gone on to ITM Cup sides. It is about giving players opportunities but they have to take it."
The Timaru Herald