Nikola Matawalu makes Glasgow return

Niko Matawalu has clinched his return to Glasgow Warriors after penning a two-year deal
Niko Matawalu has clinched his return to Glasgow Warriors after penning a two-year deal

Fiji international Niko Matawalu has made a return to Glasgow Warriors ahead of the 2017/18 season of Pro 14.

The 28-year-old made his professional rugby debut with Glasgow Warriors in 2012 and after a three-year stint, he switched to Bath. His transition to the English Premiership was not smooth as injuries restricted his appearances for the Recreation Ground outfit to just 10 Aviva Premiership games.

Matawalu signed a new contract with Exeter Chiefs ahead of the 2016/17 season but failed to get a single game and was eventually dropped.

The scrum-half proved his fitness to the incoming Glasgow Warriors head coach Dave Rennie to earn a contract with the Scottish regional side.

"I'm really looking forward to playing in front of the fans again.

"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."

Meanwhile, Rennie is looking forward to see Matawalu in action and urged the Fiji international to work hard to claim a position in the playing squad.

"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."