Edinburgh have confirmed the signing of Ben Healy from Munster on a two-year deal, with the stand-off due to make the switch to the Scottish capital during the summer.

The 23-year-old playmaker has been on Scotland’s radar for some time and turned down an opportunity to sign for Glasgow Warriors a few seasons ago. He was born and raised in County Tipperary but qualifies to wear the thistle through his mother’s side of the family.

While the prospect of winning senior international honours is undoubtedly the key driver behind Healy’s move to Scotland, the former Ireland Under-20 cap will first have to establish himself in the Edinburgh set-up.

With Blair Kinghorn likely to be away on World Cup duty during the opening months of next season, he will compete against Charlie Savala for game-time during that period.

The future of Jaco van der Walt – the other stand-off in the senior Edinburgh squad – is unclear at the moment.

Scottish rugby fans will hope that this latest piece of recruitment does not reduce development opportunities for talented youngsters coming through the Scottish system, such as Cameron Scott and Isaac Coates.

“Edinburgh have really developed their game under Mike Blair and I believe that style will suit me,” said Healy. “I’m looking forward to putting myself into a new environment and seeing how I go.”

Since making his Munster debut against Edinburgh in November 2019, Healy has played 57 games for the province and scored 328 points.

However, he has tended to be utilised as a back-up stand-off during this period, with Joey Carberry preferred for the team’s biggest matches.

He did, though, recently help Munster to a dramatic 15-14 victory over Ulster by scoring a last-gasp try and then kicking the crucial conversion at Kingspan Stadium.

“Ben is a quality playmaker who brings excellent game management and kicking ability to our already talented group of 10s,” said Edinburgh head coach Blair.

“He’s kicking at goal at over 90 per cent accuracy so far this season while his performances – from both the bench and in starts for Munster – have been hugely impressive.

“He’s got great calmness around the way he dictates play and influences matches.

“With Ben being Scottish qualified, that was another important factor in the decision to bring him in.

“I know he’ll be really excited to hit the ground running at a new club, and in a new city, while competing for a place in our squad.”

Meanwhile, Edinburgh centre Mark Bennett has insisted that no-one in his squad will treat Zebre lightly when the teams meet on Saturday, even though the Italian side have lost all 11 of their URC games this season.

The capital club themselves are on a bad run, having been beaten in their last four league outings. And although a home fixture against Zebre would appear to be the ideal opportunity to return to winning ways, Bennett is wary about the threat that the team from Parma could pose at the DAM Health Stadium.

“I think it’s harsh when people say they’ve not been great,” the 29-year-old said. “Watch the way they’re playing. They play great rugby, and at the start of the season they ran good teams close, so they’re going to be a good challenge.

“But we need a result. It’s as simple as that, it doesn’t matter who it was next. But Zebre won’t be any pushovers, that’s for sure.”

Zebre did indeed begin the season in encouraging fashion, picking up two bonus points in each of their first two games, the home defeats by Leinster and the Sharks. Since then, however, they have been pointless, which suggests that Edinburgh – who beat them 38-19 in Italy in October – should only need a consistent 80-minute effort to get the better of them again.

Consistency throughout a match has been the issue for Edinburgh, however, most notably in their home loss to Glasgow last.

That said, with the exception of a heavy home defeat by Munster at the start of last month, they have at least earned bonus points for narrow defeats in their recent outings.

“We need to dust ourselves down,” the centre admitted. “At the weekend there it wasn’t good enough in the second half.

“We’re just not quite there. But it’s been a good couple of days. We had a good meeting on Monday and then a good training session on Tuesday. We’re now getting ready for what will be a huge game on Saturday.”