Flying Fijian back on Warriors' books

Thu, 31 Aug 2017 11:58

NEWS: Glasgow Warriors revealed that Fiji international scrumhalf Niko Matawalu has rejoined the region.

The 28-year-old has signed a one-year contract at Scotstoun, with the option for a second year - subject to visa and medical.
 
Matawalu has returned to Glasgow following two years in the Premiership with Bath and Exeter Chiefs, having last played for the Warriors in the region's 31-13 triumph over Munster in the 2014/15 PRO12 Final.
 
After signing for Glasgow in 2012, Matawalu established himself as a firm favourite amongst the supporters during his first spell at the region, with his pace and flair producing several memorable moments in both domestic and European action.
 
He is able to boast an impressive strike-rate in Warriors colours, crossing the whitewash 24 times in his 74 appearances for the region.
 
Matawalu was a key figure in the Warriors title-winning campaign in the 2014/15 season, scoring six tries in his sixteen appearances and providing valuable options due to his versatility, being able to play on the wing or at scrum-half.
 
His form in a Warriors shirt saw him named the region's McCrea Financial Services Player of the Season twice in three years, with his electric running and quick thinking winning him many admirers amongst the Scotstoun faithful.
 
The scrum-half's performances on the international stage have brought him significant praise, having been vital to Fiji's 2015 Pacific Nations Cup success.
 
Capped 32 times for his country, Matawalu caught the eye at the 2015 Rugby World Cup, only being denied a spectacular try against England in the opening game of the tournament by the TMO.
 
The man from Suva can also lay claim to an impressive record in sevens, being named player of the tournament in Fiji's Hong Kong Sevens win in 2012 as well as helping Glasgow to Melrose Sevens success in 2014 and 2015.
 
Speaking to glasgowwarriors.org, Matawalu couldn't hide his delight at the move.
 
"It means so much to me," said Matawalu.
 
"Glasgow Warriors was my first professional region and first region outside of Fiji, and it's where I met a lot of good people.
 
"Dave Rennie is a very good person. He's very down-to-earth and he had a good chat with me before I decided to come back. He's a good man.
 
"I always play like it's my last game and I'm really looking forward to playing in front of the fans again.
 
"I'm very excited to be back in Glasgow."
 
Glasgow Warriors Head Coach, Dave Rennie, added: "I've seen Niko play a lot of test footy for Fiji and for Glasgow Warriors, when they won the title too. He's a bit of a freak on the field, he's a game breaker.
 
"I know he was incredibly popular here with the fans and when I met with him he made it very clear that he was very passionate about Glasgow and wanted to come back.
 
"We've got three really good nines already, Henry [Pyrgos] and Ali [Price] are Scotland internationals and George [Horne] has really impressed us in pre-season.
 
"Niko is going to have to work really hard, but the fact that he can play on the wing and at full-back is a bonus and his utility value will help us during the Autumn Tests and Six Nations periods.
 
"We want to harness his individual brilliance and not coach it out of him, he'll be dynamic on our artificial pitch.
 
"He's been out of footy for a fair amount of time, so the next month will be about getting his body right so that once he gets his opportunity he's ready to fire."

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