GLASGOW have returned to a seam of Argentine talent by recruiting centre Gabriel Ascarate to help to fill the void left by the injured Peter Horne.
Horne suffered a serious knee injury on tour with Scotland in South Africa, which has ruled him out virtually for the entire season, and with Scotland centre Graeme Morrison having retired this year, Glasgow have talented youngsters but lack midfield experience.
Among their most popular foreign signings in recent times have been Bernardo Stortoni and wing Federico Arambaru, and head coach Gregor Townsend believes that their eight-times capped compatriot will bring a similar benefit of Test-quality experience.
Experienced at inside and outside centre, as well as at full-back, Ascarate will arrive in Glasgow next week, subject to passing a medical, from French ProD2 team Carcassonne, who he joined after three seasons in South Africa’s Vodacom Cup with the Pampas XV.
Townsend is confident that the 25-year-old will add to the improving quality in the Warriors squad.
“Since Peter Horne injured his knee, we’ve conducted a global search to find the ideal replacement for the start of the season,” he explained.
“Gabriel can play in a number of positions in the backline, is very strong in defence and has an intelligent kicking game. He has played at a high level, most recently at inside centre for Argentina in their second Test against England, so he should be in good condition for the new season.
“He will be an excellent addition to our squad, to help us compete in both the RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup next season.”
Ascarate said: “This is a great move for me. I’m excited about the prospect of playing in the RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup with Glasgow next season.
“I should be able to settle in quickly after playing in Europe last season and then in the summer against England. I’m happy that I’ll have a month of training with the squad before the new season gets under way, which will give me plenty of time to get to know my new teammates.
“Glasgow have a lot of very good players, including three British & Irish Lions, so it’ll be difficult for me to get into the team, but I’ll work hard to try and achieve great things with Glasgow.”