ABERDEEN have strengthened their forward pack for the new season by signing a 6ft 8in lock from New Zealand.
Jamie Metcalfe, from Manurewa Premiers in South Auckland, linked up with his new team-mates this week and follows Tom Preece, who joined from Auckland side North Harbour Marist last month, in making the move to Scotland.
Metcalfe has come through the New Zealand national rugby academy and was on the fringes of the international under-20 side. Now 26, he said: “I’ve had a great education in rugby in New Zealand but I view the move overseas as the next step at an important stage of my career and I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“Everyone involved in rugby is well aware of Scotland’s standing in the sport and that was one of the big attractions. I know the games will be fast, tough and competitive and I’m looking forward to playing my part for Aberdeen.
“In the short time I’ve been in the city I’ve already got a good feel for the ambition there is for the season ahead and there’s a really good buzz around the club.”
Metcalfe and Preece are among seven new faces in the Aberdeen squad this season, and will join Harry Duthie (Dundee High), and former Heriot’s pair Struan and Rob Cessford in the starting line-up away to Hawick tomorrow.
New head coach Kevin Wyness said: “We do our homework with every player we bring to the club and Jamie is certainly one who stood out from the crowd – he comes highly recommended.
“As well as having the physical attributes to make a big impression in Scottish rugby, he is a technically strong player who has benefited from fantastic coaching from a young age.
“Every player who arrives from overseas has to be given the chance to find their feet in a new league and different playing environment, but I’m confident Jamie and Tom will settle quickly.”