Scots sevens star McGuigan signs two-year contract with Glasgow

Glasgow Warriors centre Byron McGuigan has signed a two-year contract that ties him to the Scotstoun-based club until at least the end of May 2014. The deal was confirmed yesterday, having first been revealed by The Scotsman in January.

The 22-year-old has this season starred for Scotland in the HSBC Sevens World Series, scoring five tries in his first two tournaments in Wellington and Las Vegas.

McGuigan, who grew up in Cape Town but has a Glaswegian mother, Carol, has set his sights on proving an instant success at Scotstoun, telling “I’m proud and honoured to be joining a club like Glasgow Warriors who are on the way up and have ambitious plans for the future. The calibre of player in the squad is strong, there are lots of quality individuals signing and re-signing and the move to the great facilities at Scotstoun Stadium is going to help the club put down roots.

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“I can’t wait to sample the passion the rugby public in west of Scotland have for the game when the Glasgow 7s takes place in three weeks’ time, and I’m really looking forward to running out there in the Warriors black and blue when next season rolls around.”

McGuigan emerged from the Western Province academy before winning a contract at the Border Bulldogs two years ago.

Warriors head coach Sean Lineen said: “Byron is a player with real potential. We’ve kept a keen eye on him during his involvement with the Scotland 7s team, and we’re convinced he has the right attributes to be an asset for Glasgow Warriors.

“He’s strong, he’s creative and he’s got a great step and work ethic.

“He’s primarily an outside centre, but he’s capable of contributing strongly in any of the back three positions as well.

“We’ve been impressed with how keen he is to come here and prove himself in the RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup.”

Warriors managing director Nathan Bombrys said: “We’re really pleased to have Byron on board. He’s an exciting player and someone who will help us to build upon the positive momentum of the current season. But, right now, the club is focused on achieving the RaboDirect PRO12 play-offs semi-finals, with important games coming up away to Treviso on Sunday and at home to Connacht on Saturday, May 5.”

McGuigan’s signing takes to five the new additions to the Glasgow squad for season 2012/13. All Black back rower Angus MacDonald, Tonga World Cup No 8 Villiami Ma’afu, reigning Newcastle Falcons Player of the Season lock Tim Swinson and returning fans’ favourite Sean Lamont have all been secured.

Some 19 leading Warriors players have also put pen to paper on contract extensions in recent months.

With the Warriors’ move to Scotstoun firmly on the horizon, McGuigan will get an early taste of the ground he will call home next season when the inaugural Emirates Airline Glasgow 7s is staged at the stadium on 5/6 May.

Saturday 5 May promises to be one of the biggest days in Glasgow rugby history, the Warriors looking to clinch a place in the RaboDirect PRO12 play-offs when they take on Connacht at Firhill.