Scotland to raid New Zealand system?

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 11:03
Large nick grigg glasgow warriors 800

Glasgow Warriors centre Nick Grigg was playing for Petone club in Wellington, New Zealand - where he was born and raised - before uploading a YouTube video that would change his life.

The highlight reel was brought to the attention of Scottish coaches who were interested in Grigg. After discovering his grandfather hailed from Scotland, Grigg was jettisoned over to Europe.

Fast forward to 2018 and Grigg is an international rugby player, having debuted last year for Scotland.

“There are loads of guys that come through school and don’t quite make the New Zealand franchises,” Grigg told the BBC.

“I guess they get involved in other sports, in university and work, so they don’t really get to push for that goal they wanted.”

Grigg believes that there are more players out there that would be in a similar position to himself, who made the Wellington under-20s sides and Hurricanes development squad but didn’t get the opportunity to play professionally.

“I know it’s always good when you have the Scottish born-and-bred coming through, but there are lots of people back home that would be keen to come over and give it a shot as well,” said Grigg.

“But you can say that about every country really, I guess I was just lucky enough to put up a video on YouTube and come over here.”

He trialled with the Glasgow Warriors in 2015 and earned a spot in the Scottish Rugby Academy. Upon graduating from the academy in March 2016, the Warriors offered him a professional contract.

Scotland has expanded their search for eligible players abroad, launching their Scottish Qualified programme in October of 2017.

They have scouts stationed overseas looking for players who are eligible to represent Scotland, hoping to bolster their national ranks.

Grigg’s explosive running game translated to the pro game, showing similar burst for Glasgow in the Pro14 as he did for Petone.

It begs the question just how many players are there in New Zealand eligible for European nations.

By Colin Brooke, RugbyPass

There are currently no matches being played
Fri, 23 March 2018
Crusaders v Bulls 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sharks 08h45 Melbourne
Connacht v Edinburgh 19h35 Sportsground
Dragons v Cheetahs 19h35 Rodney Parade
Glasgow Warriors v Zebre 19h35 Scotstoun
Bath v Exeter Chiefs 19h45 Recreation Ground
Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 16 13 1 2 65
Munster 17 10 0 7 54
Cheetahs 17 9 0 8 47
Cardiff Blues 17 9 0 8 42
Connacht 17 6 0 11 33
Ospreys 16 6 0 10 30
Zebre 16 4 0 12 22
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 17 13 1 3 64
Scarlets 17 12 1 4 61
Edinburgh 17 12 0 5 55
Ulster 16 9 1 6 46
Treviso 17 8 0 9 40
Dragons 17 2 2 13 17
Kings 17 1 0 16 9