FOR a couple of years following his breakthrough into the national side, Damien Hoyland did not have his injury troubles to seek.

The right wing made his Scotland debut in 2015 but just a year later, became dogged by injury for the following two seasons, including a foot problem which saw him sidelined for a year.

It was not an easy time for Hoyland but he has bounced back admirably and this week, signed an extended deal with Edinburgh Rugby, the club he has been at since 2014.

And while few athletes would ever say they were glad to have been injured, Hoyland admits a number of positives came out of his injury lay-off.

“I feel physically probably better than I did before I got injured. I suppose it’s just professional sport – a lot of people get injured. I don’t think many rugby players get to their mid-twenties without having some kind of serious injury along the way," he said.

“So, I’ve learned a lot from it, and probably the main thing I’ve learned is how to switch off outside of rugby, which I think has helped me a lot the last year or so. I’m happy, fingers crossed, to put all of my injury troubles behind me so that I can just crack on.

“Something that I learned a lot about when I was injured was you have to take things day by day, because if you look too far into the future and you worry about things, you get that in your head and you forget about the task at hand, which is getting back to be fully fit.

“I actually managed to switch that side of things off, and just focused on getting my rehab being my main priority. Then I ended up coming back a bit quicker, I played a few games and now I’ve managed to re-sign off the back of it.”

And since his return from injury, he has kept his desire to maintain outside interests, which sees him now in the midst of a Business and Enterprise course at Napier University, as well as running a small coffee business with Edinburgh captain, Stuart McInally.

“Our wee coffee business has been keeping me busy and I do a bit of uni on the side to just completely try to switch off from the game,” he said.

“I think it’s very important because we’re very much in a bubble in professional sport, and I think you can kind of lose track of other things that are important as well. And, it can eat you up at times if you don’t focus on other things. So, I think I’ve done that quite well.”

Hoyland is an Edinburgh native and joined the capital club from Melrose six years ago. He will be 28 when this new deal runs out and he admits that while he admits he doesn’t exactly like the idea of getting old, he is thrilled to remain at Edinburgh and, for now anyway, has no desire to ply his trade in another country.

“Maybe (I’d like to move abroad) towards the end of my career, but I’m hopefully not there quite yet," he said.

Though, I’m going to be 28 by the end of this contract, which is mental, thinking about it,” he said.

“I’ve been here since I was 19. So, time is flying by, but I’ve loved every day being here.

“It’s nice to have that (my future) sorted, that I don’t have to think about it anymore and can just focus on rugby. Just delighted to be staying at the club. And for another two years as well, which is good. I’m just excited to see what this group of guys can do, and achieve moving forward.”

Hoyland my be a right-wing by trade but he has played at full-back in his last few appearances for Richard Cockerill’s side.

While he is not yet committing to a permanent move, he admits that playing at full-back has been a welcome change.

“For me, it’s great to have just another string to add to the bow,” he said.

“I’m happy on the wing, but I’ve actually really enjoyed playing fullback. The ball comes to me a lot more, just naturally, which I am enjoying quite a lot.

“And I actually probably prefer playing fullback. Well, I’ve preferred playing fullback this season as opposed to wing the past two seasons. So, whether it’s a permanent move, I’m not sure, but you can see guys switch around in the back three quite a lot. So, I imagine I’ll be switching back and forth the next few years.”