A day after Leone Nakarawa’s signing was announced, Glasgow Warriors were dealt the damaging Friday news that Jonny Gray will be moving to Exeter Chiefs next season.
It was expected that the lock would be leaving Scotstoun, but this makes him the third high-profile Scotland international to leave in three years with Stuart Hogg joining the Chiefs this season and Finn Russell moving to Racing 92 the season before.
This exodus of players concerns many fans and is something they wish the Scottish Rugby Union must address, but there are positives to such a move.
Exeter are one of the forces in English rugby, being Gallagher Premiership runners-up the past two seasons and sitting top of the table currently.
In the Champions Cup, they are in a great position to earn a home quarter-final berth and could make a lasting impact in that competition. Personally for Gray, a move to such a big club will help his development.
Sorry to see him go but needs the move to try and get a Lions spot
— Alan Barnett (@albigbarney) January 3, 2020
Bad for Glasgow but think good move for him and his career. Has stalled a bit in last 18 months and joining top class club and coaches
— TA (@theaaanimal) January 3, 2020
Having made the final of the Guinness PRO14 last season, Glasgow are not a small club, but Exeter seem to have grander aspirations and their recruitment policy proves that.
The 25-year-old Gray’s status as being one of the dependable defenders in the game is already cemented – after all he only missed 13 tackles the last decade. But the Chiefs can help him develop his game in all areas while still having a style that suits his strengths in the tight.
As a Scotland rugby fan, pretty happy with this. Needed a change of environment and hopefully will take his game to the next level at a quality club. Bad times for Glasgow.
— John Fisher (@Sconni3) January 3, 2020
Gutted to lose @jonnygray14 but he deserves the chance to test himself at a higher level. Thanks for everything big man, and all the best for the future
— Peter Elder ??????? (@PeterElder74) January 3, 2020
Change of scenery and league might add another dynamic to his game. Can only be good for Scotland.
Miserable times at Glasgow at the moment. Would help cure the sense of doom if Glasgow told us what the plans are and what's happening.
— Rugby Rugby Rugby (@BillyMcdev) January 3, 2020
Some fans have said that Gray has stagnated somewhat since he burst onto the scene for Scotland in 2013, and while he still starts for his country, this move may help him make a charge for a British and Irish Lions jersey at the end of next season.
Great servant for Glasgow. Good time for him to move on and gain experience in another league. Think this will be good for him and the national team. Clean sheet in terms of recruitment for new GE coach too.
— Michael Cuthbert (@mikecuthbertuk) January 1, 2020
May be of a benifit to national side with them playing in that league w some top class players though ??
— sammy milby (@sup3rs4mmy79) January 3, 2020
Second row seems to be one of the strongest positions in the four Lions countries, meaning the Scot will need to up his game to travel to South Africa. But there is no better place to do that than with one of the strongest teams in Europe so far this season.
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