The Glasgow Warriors have reportedly snapped up former New Zealand under-20 star and Crusaders fullback Josh McKay, according to a report in The Scotsman.
A Canterbury product, McKay landed with the Highlanders for his season in Super Rugby in 2018 after an impressive provincial campaign with the red and blacks the previous year.
After a lack of game time, the fullback turned wing was given a lifeline by the Crusaders for 2021, signing as an injury replacement for centre Braydon Ennor.
The 23-year-old wasn’t named in any of the five New Zealand franchise’s squads for the 2021 season after his three-year deal with the Highlanders expired in 2020.
The Scotsman is reporting he will move to Scotland at the end of the New Zealand season in October or November to link up with his new club, where the Warriors see him as a fullback option.
Since losing Stuart Hogg two years ago to European champions Exeter, the fullback role has been filled at times by centre Huw Jones as they look to fill the void left by Scotland’s captain.
The addition of McKay will help the club’s backline after also losing flyhalf Adam Hastings to Gloucester. McKay played flyhalf as a schoolboy before being used as a fullback winger option at higher levels, with his speed a real asset on the pitch.
He is considered one of the fastest professional rugby players in New Zealand.
“We’ve always known that we needed to add a 15 to the squad and we wanted a real attacking presence,” said Glasgow coach Danny Wilson in comments published by The Scotsman.
“Josh plays wing and 15, and he’s a really exciting runner with the ball, so he’ll suit the surface and he’ll suit the speed we want to play.”
“First and foremost, I know that part of my role is developing Scottish players for Scotland – that is the role of the two clubs as well as winning games of rugby,” acknowledged the Glasgow coach.
The addition of McKay was met with excitement by Scottish rugby fans, who understand that the uncapped utility may eventually qualify for Scotland under residency one day.
RugbyPass columnist Jamie Lyall wrote “Warriors have needed a top-class fullback in the door for a while and McKay is absolutely that.”
“Classy operator, NZ under-20 cap, still 23-years-old, plays 10, wing and 15, and is absolute jets.”
Scotsman reporting Josh McKay to sign for the Warriors. What a signing that is if true.
— Phillip Speirs (@Mightytalisker) February 17, 2021
I’ll buy you an espresso to split 3 ways if it’s Josh McKay
— Jay Mac (@JayMac__) February 17, 2021
If the Josh McKay to Glasgow chat is accurate, as it seems to be, then it's a belting signing. Warriors have needed a top-class FB in the door for a while and McKay is absolutely that. Classy operator, NZ U20 cap, still 23 years old, plays 10, wing and 15, and is absolute jets.
— Jamie Lyall (@JLyall93) February 17, 2021
If the chat of Josh McKay to Glasgow Warriors is confirmed in the morning, here’s what the #WarriorNation will be able to look forward to when he arrives
A really belting player & exactly what Glasgow have needed to replace Stuart Hogg https://t.co/xKenuSfUqe
— Gav Harper (@Gav_S_Harper) February 17, 2021
Looks like the info is out there folks. Josh McKay
— Alistair MacKinnon (@allstar4208) February 17, 2021
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