Guinness PRO12: Glasgow Warriors sign Kieran Low from London Irish
Versatile Scotland international forward to swap to the Aviva Premiership for the PRO12 league leaders in the summer
Glasgow Warriors have confirmed their capture of Kieran Low from London Irish.
The 24-year-old lock, who can also play in at blindside flanker, will join the Guinness PRO12 club on a two-year deal in the summer, subject to a medical.
I’d also love to play for Scotland again, and playing with the Warriors will hopefully help me achieve that goal.
Kieran Low on his move to Glasgow Warriors
Low, who has six Scotland caps to his name, is the second forward to be signed by the club this month following the announcement that Italian international flanker Simone Favaro will join the club from Benetton Treviso.
And he fits the Warriors profile for back five forwards with head coach Gregor Townsend a keen believer that there isn’t much of a difference between locks and blindside flankers in the modern game.
“This is a fantastic move for me and I’m really looking forward to going up to Glasgow at the end of the season and working with the coaches at Scotstoun,” Low said.
“I’ve spent my whole career at London Irish and I’ll be sad to leave, but this is an exciting opportunity.
“I’ve played in the Aviva Premiership my whole career, so it’ll be good to play in the Guinness PRO12 with a very competitive team.
“I’d also love to play for Scotland again, and playing with the Warriors will hopefully help me achieve that goal.”
Low joined the London Irish Academy in 2009 and, after a short loan spell with London Welsh in 2011, progressed to the London Irish first team, making 73 appearances and scoring four tries.
He is a physical, athletic second row who can also play in the back row, so he’ll provide more competition and give us more options in the back five for next season.
Gregor Townsend on new signing Kieran Low
Despite representing England at age-grade level, he switched allegiances to Scotland through his Dingwall-born grandfather and was called up to the national team by interim head coach Scott Johnson in November 2013, making his debut in a 21-15 defeat to Australia at BT Murrayfield.
Low becomes the third new signing, joining Favaro and Edinburgh Rugby scrum-half Grayson Hart.
Townsend believes Low will give him more options in the back five for next season, which will be crucial during the Rugby World Cup and RBS 6 Nations.
“Kieran is another exciting addition to our squad for next season,” Townsend said.
“He has come through the academy system at London Irish and has worked hard to play at the highest level of the game.
“He is a physical, athletic second row who can also play in the back row, so he’ll provide more competition and give us more options in the back five for next season.”
Low’s arrival at Scotstoun Stadium would suggest that Al Kellock is closer to hanging up his boots at the end of the season.
The Warriors club captain, who turns 34 in June, has started 10 PRO12 matches this season, benefiting from younger models Tim Swinson (28), Leone Nakarawa (27), and rising star Jonny Gray (21) being called up for international duty.
The Warriors have also deployed Tom Ryder – now at Northampton Saints – and flankers James Eddie and Rob Harley in the engine room.
But with Kellock already eyeing up a move into coaching when his playing career is over, it is looking increasingly likely that it will happen this year.
The Warriors have also confirmed that Edinburgh back-row forward Hugh Blake, who was called up to Vern Cotter’s squad for the RBS 6 Nations, has joined the club on loan until the end of the season.