Once a Warrior 2018 part 3: La Dolce Vita

The third part of On Top Of The Moon’s thank you to this season’s departing Warriors – arrivederci to the club’s Italians.

Leonardo Sarto

Appearances – 18
Tries – 9

Debut – Connacht at the Sportsground, 3 September 2016
Last game – Exeter at Scotstoun Stadium, 20 January 2018

Leo could have been a Warriors’ legend. Whenever he got onto the pitch he was a superb attacking weapon for Glasgow. Across the past two seasons he scored 9 tries, had 97 clean breaks + defenders beaten (only Nick Grigg and Tommy Seymour managed bigger numbers and they featured in substantially more games) and generally tore it up all over the shop (for example like this or this).

There was never any question over his playing ability or his attitude. It was simply the case that Glasgow weren’t able to get him on the pitch enough, with just 12 starts during his two years at the club. Unfortunately that meant the Warriors’ management had to take the tough decision not to renew his contract.

Wherever Leo ends up (and hopefully it’s somewhere with the stature a man of his abilities deserves) if he can get an uninterrupted run of games he will be a superstar and a fan favourite as a genuinely exciting player to watch.

Moved to – Unconfirmed

Samuela Vunisa

Appearances – 5
Tries – 1

Debut – Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium, 26 November 2017
Last game – Edinburgh at Murrayfield, 26 Devember 2017

Glasgow fans had been calling out for a big ball carrier to replace Josh Strauss and Samu looked like he might be that man. He combined two of the Warriors’ faithful’s favourite nationalities in one handy package – a Fijiweegie by birth and a member of the Glazzurri after qualifying to play for Italy through residency.

The big man suffered with injuries which hampered his pre-season and meant he didn’t get involved until the campaign was well underway. By the time he was ready to play a part the back row pecking order had coalesced around a lighter, more mobile trio that could execute Dave Rennie’s high tempo gameplan.

Samu did have some fun times down at Fullarton Park where he turned out semi-regularly for Marr. He was a bit of a cult figure for the BT Premiership newcomers who seemed to really appreciate the contribution made to their cause by overseas players like Vunisa, Greg Peterson and Lelia Masaga.

Moved to – Calvisano (from Italy’s Campionato Nazionale Eccellenza)

Part 1 – Legends is here taking in Pat MacArthur, Henry Pyrgos and Richie Vernon

Part 2 – Lions is here looking at Ryan Grant and Finn Russell

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