Leone Nakarawa’s return to Glasgow Warriors is hopefully the beginning of a number of new signings for many supporters of the club.
The Fijian lock recently rejoined his former side until the end of the season, after he was sacked by Racing 92 for failing to return to training after the Rugby World Cup. The Warriors leapt at the chance of signing the 31-year-old, and he returns to Scotstoun after leaving in 2016.
Nakarawa is one of the leading locks in world rugby, and many Glasgow fans have fond memories of his time in Scotland. Having been named the European player of the year in 2018, he is famed for his ball-carrying and offloading ability. In fact, OptaJonny recently revealed that he made the most offloads in the Pro14 last decade, alongside Nick Williams, despite only playing for only three years in the league.
177 – No player made more offloads in the @PRO14Official in the last decade than Leone Nakarawa, despite the Fijian playing for @GlasgowWarriors for just three seasons (177, level with @nick8williams). Return. pic.twitter.com/oZANVJa2GP
— OptaJonny (@OptaJonny) January 2, 2020
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While the recruitment of the Olympic gold-winning sevens player is a boost, fans hope that his deal can be secured beyond the end of the season. The trouble is, there will undoubtedly be many sides across Europe that would want to sign the Fijian, and could potentially attract him with greater financial power.
Let’s get him nailed down longer term as well! Especially if we’re losing Jonny Gray!
— Doug L (@dougl84) January 2, 2020
Yessssss finally let's try and get him signed up longer ? ?
— Glasgow Warriors 2020 (@gfitzpatrick124) January 2, 2020
If Glasgow want to show ambition and appease disgruntled fans they need to make this long-term. Nakarawa's messy departure from Racing won't have raised his value to other clubs. https://t.co/1bGXc8Mu5Y
— Alasdair Reid (@AlasdairReid3) January 2, 2020
With Nakarawa’s second row partner Jonny Gray rumoured to be leaving the Warriors at the end of the season for the Exeter Chiefs, it is paramount that Glasgow do not see a large-scale exodus at the end of the season. Alongside Gray, centre Nick Grigg could also be heading elsewhere, as well as head coach Dave Rennie, who is set to join the Wallabies.
It is hoped, therefore, that Nakarawa’s signing is a statement of intent for a side that have been one of the forces in the PRO14 in recent years.
Brilliant! We need him to turn up hopefully and we need some more signings!
— Miss Sullivan (@FiSulli) January 2, 2020
Being greedy here but can we get some other quality signings please. Thanks in advance
— Neil Macdougall ?????????????? (@DougallChops) January 2, 2020
Pleased to hear this news, but we still need to see evidence of a clear recruitment plan, beyond this season. Too many light areas of the squad which are cruelly exposed at certain times of the season. https://t.co/RIIyrjpjyh
— Finlay Morrison (@FinMorrison) January 2, 2020
In the short-term, there is belief that the lock’s arrival will signal a change in fortunes this season at Scotstoun, as the Warriors’ hopes of making the Champions Cup quarter-finals are slim. Despite making the final of the PRO14 last season, only four teams have lost more games this season than Glasgow, but Nakarawa has the ability to turn things around.
WATCH: Glasgow’s head coach, Dave Rennie, who has overseen two successive finals appearances in the PRO14, is in his final season with the club.
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