Niko Matawalu rejoins Glasgow Warriors on two-year deal

FIJI scrum-half Niko Matawalu has clinched his return to Glasgow, the club have confirmed.
Glasgow Warriors announce the re-signing of Niko Matawalu. Picture: SNSGlasgow Warriors announce the re-signing of Niko Matawalu. Picture: SNS
Glasgow Warriors announce the re-signing of Niko Matawalu. Picture: SNS

The 28-year-old has rejoined Warriors two years after leaving them for English giants Bath.

The Scotstoun fans’ favourite – who has signed a two-year deal after proving his fitness to new head coach Dave Rennie – said: “I’m really looking forward to playing in front of the fans again.

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“It means so much to me. Glasgow Warriors was my first professional club and first club outside of Fiji, and it’s where I met a lot of good people.

“Dave Rennie is a very good person. He’s very down-to-earth and he had a good chat with me before I decided to come back. He’s a good man.

“I always play like it’s my last game and I’m very excited to be back in Glasgow.”

It has been a troubled period for the the 32-cap World Cup star since he called time on his first Glasgow stint.

Matawalu made the move to England’s south-west after being offered a lucrative contract but injury problems limited him to just 10 appearances for the Aviva Premiership side and he switched to rivals Exeter last November.

However, he was released by the Chiefs earlier this summer without having played a game.

He also faced court proceedings earlier this year after being accused of sexual assault but was cleared of the charges earlier this month.

The Guinness PRO14 team will now hope a player who lit up Scotstoun with his unpredictable attacking forays will be able to rediscover his best form with his old club.

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Rennie has warned Matawalu his place is not guaranteed but is willing to give him a chance.

The Kiwi said: “I’ve seen Niko play a lot of Test footy for Fiji and for Glasgow Warriors, when they won the title too. He’s a bit of a freak on the field, he’s a game breaker.

“I know he was incredibly popular here with the fans and when I met with him he made it very clear that he was very passionate about Glasgow and wanted to come back.

“We’ve got three really good nines already, Henry Pyrgos and Ali Price are Scotland internationals and George Horne has really impressed us in pre-season.

“Niko is going to have to work really hard, but the fact that he can play on the wing and at full-back is a bonus and his utility value will help us during the Autumn Tests and Six Nations periods.

“We want to harness his individual brilliance and not coach it out of him, he’ll be dynamic on our artificial pitch.

“He’s been out of footy for a fair amount of time, so the next month will be about getting his body right so that once he gets his opportunity he’s ready to fire.”