Once a Warrior 2019 part 4: Antipodean Associations

Imports from down under have been a regular feature of Glasgow squads over the years. Three of the departures during 2018/19 learnt their rugby in either New Zealand or Australia before joining up to make their contribution to the Warriors.

Greg Peterson

Warrior number – 255

Appearances – 33
Tries – 3
Points – 15

Debut – Dragons at Scotstoun, 16th October 2015
Last game – Munster at Thomond Park, 27th October 2018

There has been a pretty strong connection between Scottish and US rugby in recent years. Frequent encounters among the respective national sides. Brief excursions with the Warriors for 7s specialists Carlin Isles and Folau Niua and the likes of full Eagles’ Langilangi Haupeakui and Tevita Tameilau.

Although he was born in Australia (hence the Antipodean connection) the most successful American import (so far) to Glasgow was Greg Peterson. No US Eagle has made more appearances for the club than the giant lock. The former Waratah was in his fourth season with the Warriors before he departed midway through the 2018/19 campaign.

Greg’s USP was being the kind of massive unit that Scottish rugby sometimes struggles to produce. There were moments where he provided more than just a bit of beef though. His try against Zebre came from a beautifully disguised run off the shoulder of George Horne that any of Glasgow’s wingers would have been proud of. He did make the rather unusual decision to start his dive for the line from 6 metres out. Thanks to his towering height though he was still able to make it…

Greg Peterson v Zebre

Moved to – Bordeaux in December and he will he join Newcastle Falcons for the 2019/20 season

Brian Alainu’uese

Warrior number – 259

Appearances – 22
Tries – 0
Points – 0

Debut – Benetton at Scotstoun, 28th October 2016
Last game – Cheetahs at Toyota Stadium, 6th October 2017

The heaviest player ever to feature for the Warriors, Brian was a big man and a big personality during his time in Glasgow. After a rocky start that saw him sent off against Ospreys and (unjustly) suspended after a game versus Benetton, the giant lock hit his stride and demonstrated an immense work rate and some delicate handling during his best run in the side in 2016/17.

For that spell, he seemed to provide everything the Warriors were looking for in the second row. With Jonny Gray and Brian in the boiler room there would be size at the setpiece without losing any graft around the park. There was the potential for the New Zealand born lock to be Glasgow’s Will Skelton – only with better hands!

Unfortunately, injury wrote off most of 2017/18 for Brian. That then extended into the start of 2018/19 and he moved to Toulon in October 2018 having not played for Glasgow for more than a year. It’s a real shame there wasn’t the chance to see him develop further.

If 2017/18 had been spent playing rugby instead of sidelined by injury On Top Of The Moon still maintains Big Brian would have stayed with Glasgow and ultimately been a Scotland player in the next RWC cycle after completing his residency period.

Moved to – Toulon in October

Lelia Masaga

Warrior number – 284

Appearances – 8
Tries – 1
Points – 5

Debut – Connacht at the Sportsground, 2nd September 2017
Last game – Ulster at Kingspan Stadium, 21st April 2018

Lelia leaves the club as the only All Black back ever to score a try for the Warriors. Flash brought some physicality to the wing spots during his first year at the club. He would probably have wanted to feature in more games than he did but ultimately the array of firepower available for Glasgow meant limited opportunities for the former Chief.

Lelia was a popular presence down at Malleny Park playing for Marr and then latterly at Balgray when he featured for Glasgow Hawks in the BT Premiership. With a number of young back 3 players involved for Glasgow in the pro setup and Academy hopefully they took the chance to pick the brains of a man whose career took him through some of the best setups in world rugby.

Moving to – unconfirmed

 

 

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