Glasgow Warriors have confirmed the signing of USA Eagles’ No 8 Langilangi Haupeakui on a two-year deal. The 27-year-old is due to arrive in Glasgow in the next few days. His only cap to date came off the bench against Russia in June of this year.
That marked a meteoric rise for the breakaway who did not make the original cut for the USA’s fledgling PRO League. Instead he was picked up late by Sacramento Express, where he made a big impact in more ways that one.
At 6’ 1” and tipping the scales at 18½ stones Haupeakui, who has Tongan heritage and a Tongan passport, carried the ball strongly as you might expect from someone who played American Football for his college.
“There was interest from other clubs, but joining Glasgow Warriors was an easy decision,” said the player in an interview with the Warriors’ web site.
“I’ve heard a lot of positive things about the club and the city from [Warriors’ American lock] Greg Peterson and I’m looking forward to getting over to Scotland to start training with the squad. I’ve watched a few Guinness Pro12 matches and I’m excited about the physicality and speed of the game. There are some great players who play in the backrow at Glasgow, so I’m going to have to work very hard to earn my place, but it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to.”
Glasgow have a backrow injury crisis which Haupeakui may help alleviate although it may take weeks, months even, for him to get up to speed with the pace and intensity of Pro12 rugby given his limited experience of the game. His signing is subject to the usual medical and visa requirements.