Blair Kinghorn showed why Toulouse were so keen on signing him on Friday night as he ran in two tries for Edinburgh in their 24-22 defeat by Benetton.

And perhaps, in a way, he gave further evidence of his suitability for French rugby when he threw a wild pass close to his own line that allowed the Italians to score the winning try.

Clearly, the full-back’s new employers will not want him to make such errors on a regular basis. Yet nor will they want him to play an over-structured, safety-first game. Improvisation and attacking flair are the defining characteristics of the French game, and even if he does commit the occasional howler, Kinghorn surely epitomises those characteristics.

The 26-year-old would have dearly loved to mark his last home appearance with a victory, but he still has a chance to sign off on a winning note before heading to France, when Edinburgh travel to Belfast to take on Ulster on Saturday evening. It may be unusual for a player to sign for a new club then play two more games for his old one, but Kinghorn is adamant that he will remain fully committed to the Edinburgh cause until he officially joins up with Toulouse on 4 December.

“That’s just the way it worked out,” he said of the agreement between the two teams. “I want to give everything I’ve got in an Edinburgh shirt and want to end on a win. Look, we’ll regroup, we’ll come back in on Monday, and it’s a massive challenge for us away at Ulster.” 

Moving to Toulouse, a club who have won the European Cup a record five times, will also be a serious challenge for Kinghorn. But he believes that he is going at the right time, and most observers would surely feel the same way. 

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After all, he has been an almost automatic selection for Edinburgh over the past couple of seasons, whereas in the south of France he will face a real fight for a starting berth. And that fight will surely help sharpen up his skills.

“It’s a massive opportunity for me,” he continued. “It’s going to be a great challenge for me to expand myself as a player and as a person. 

“I’ve loved Edinburgh as a club, but having been here my whole life I feel it’s time for me to take a step out of my comfort zone. And I feel that going to one of the most successful teams in Europe is a good place to go and do that.

“It’s going to be tough, for sure. In fact, it’ll probably be frustrating at points, but I feel like if I didn’t take the opportunity I would kick myself. It’s a challenge I wanted to take on, and certainly something that I was keen to do. It’s just happened to fall into my lap sooner than expected. This was out of the blue.”

Kinghorn has yet to speak to Richie Gray about life at Toulouse - the Glasgow lock spent four years with the club before returning to Scotstoun in 2020. But he has spent a lot of time working with Scotland stand-off Finn Russell and national coach Gregor Townsend, both of whom have played in France. And he is aware of the importance of getting to grips with French culture, including the language. 

“My French is a work in progress - I did French at school, but that was quite a long time ago,” he admitted. “I’ll get lessons over there. You can’t expect them to speak English. You’ve got to go over there and kinda get into the culture.

“I spoke to the coaches and it was really good to chat to them. They told me a bit about the club and what they are expecting from me.”

If Edinburgh are to give Kinghorn a winning farewell against Ulster, they will have to play far more coherently than they did against Benetton. They threatened to blow the Italians away in the early stages of Friday night’s game, and that probably led them to play too loosely. They were punished eventually then, and they are likely to suffer more sustained punishment if they make the same mistake in Belfast.