Guinness PRO12: James Downey joins Wasps on loan from Glasgow
Irish centre to spend rest of the season in England, while a Canadian international returns to Scotstoun on short-term loan
James Downey has joined Wasps on loan for the remainder of the season.
The 33-year-old Irish centre has made just seven appearances for Glasgow Warriors since his move from Munster in June, with four of those coming from the bench.
Despite much of the Warriors backline being involved with Scotland’s Six Nations campaign, Downey is still not considered a major player in Gregor Townsend’s immediate plans.
“This is a good opportunity for James to hopefully get some more game time between now and the end of the season and we wish him well,” Townsend said.
Downey is no stranger to the Aviva Premiership or the Midlands having spent five seasons with Northampton Saints between 2007 and 2012 before his return to Munster.
Wasps have some big games coming up in the Aviva Premiership and European Rugby Champions Cup and my aim is to go down there and challenge for a place in the team.
And the nomadic Dubliner, who joins his seventh club, would be eligible to play in Wasps’ European Champions Cup quarter-final against Toulon after failing to get any game time during the Warriors’ campaign that ended at the pool stages.
Downey, whose last European match was against the two-time reigning champions in the semi-finals last April, would add considerable European experience to the Wasps side, having made 56 appearances in Europe, which included a winners medal from the 2008/09 campaign with the Saints.
“Wasps have some big games coming up in the Aviva Premiership and European Rugby Champions Cup and my aim is to go down there and challenge for a place in the team,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to hopefully getting some game time and trying to help the team continue to put pressure on the top four in the Premiership.
“The players here are really positive and have been in great form. They’ve been very welcoming and now I just need to work hard, learn the calls and hopefully I can fit in seamlessly.
“It’s a good chance to have another go in the Aviva Premiership and I’m looking forward to playing in front of some of the big crowds at the Ricoh Arena in the coming weeks.”
Glasgow Warriors have also confirmed that Canadian international utility-back Connor Braid has returned to Scotstoun Stadium on a short-term loan from London Scottish.
As part of the deal that took the 24-year-old, who can play across the backline, to Richmond towards the end of last year, the Warriors would gain his services to aid the loss of almost a dozen players to international call-ups.
“It’s great to see Connor back with us, he’s trained really well today and he’s available for selection this weekend,” Townsend added.