Guinness PRO12: Warriors style of rugby will suit my game, says Hart

New Zealand-born Scotland international scrum-half looking forward to swapping Edinburgh for Glasgow in the summer

By Gareth Llewellyn

Grayson Hart believes Glasgow Warriors’ style of rugby will suit his game when he makes a summer move along the M8 from rivals Edinburgh Rugby.

The 26-year-old New Zealand-born scrum-half, who has three caps for Scotland, will head to Scotstoun Stadium to fill the gap vacated by Bath Rugby-bound mercurial Niko Matawalu as head coach Gregot Townsend snaps up a player he tried to recruit in 2012.

I like the way Glasgow play and I feel their style of rugby will really suit my game. This is a great opportunity for me to continue to develop and improve as a rugby player in what looks like a great environment to be a part of.

Grayson Hart on his move to the Warriors

Those are certainly big boots to fill, with the flying Fijian firmly establishing himself as a club favourite during his time in Glasgow.

But Hart does have Super Rugby pedigree, having made eight appearances for the Blues and two for NSW Waratahs between 2008 and 2013 before joining the Gunners on a two-year deal in 2013 with Waratahs team-mate Ollie Atkins.

“I’m really looking forward to working with Gregor and the other coaches at Scotstoun next season, and competing for my place in the team,” Hart said.

“I’ve enjoyed the last couple of years in Edinburgh, but this is a new challenge for me, working with a different group of boys.

“I like the way Glasgow play and I feel their style of rugby will really suit my game.

“This is a great opportunity for me to continue to develop and improve as a rugby player in what looks like a great environment to be a part of.

“I’m excited about moving through to Glasgow in the summer, but at the moment I’m fully focused on trying to help Edinburgh finish in the top six.”

Hart, who qualifies for Scotland through his maternal grandmother from Glasgow, is a graduate of New Zealand’s U19 and U20 squads, before switching allegiances on his move to Scotland in 2013.

He is in great physical shape, plays rugby with his head up, and has a very good passing game. He will be another excellent addition to our group, and I believe he will continue to improve within our environment.

Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend on Hart’s abilities

He made his only Scotland A appearance at Scotstoun Stadium in a 20-20 draw with England Saxons in January 2014, before making his senior Scotland debut in Canada on their country-hopping summer tour.

He followed that up with a further two appearances on the tour, against Argentina and South Africa, but has not featured again for the Dark Blues, who have no shortage of talent at half-back.

His club career has seen him make 24 appearances for the Gunners in all competitions, scoring five tries.

In January, Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend had promised a global search to find a replacement for Matawalu, but many fans may feel short changed with the player brought in to challenge Henry Pyrgos and Ali Price next season coming from just 48 miles away at rivals Edinburgh.

But Townsend insists that Hart will bring something different to the Warriors when he joins his new team-mates.

“I was really impressed with Grayson when I first saw him when he was with the Waratahs in 2011/12,” Townsend said.

“The following year we were in discussions with him about signing with the Warriors but he stayed in Australia, before moving to Edinburgh the following year.

“He’s a scrum-half with a wide range of skills and I believe he will bring something different to our squad next season, competing with Henry and the other scrum-halves for the number nine jersey.

“He is in great physical shape, plays rugby with his head up, and has a very good passing game.

“He will be another excellent addition to our group, and I believe he will continue to improve within our environment.”

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