Reds centre signs for Glasgow

Date published: April 28 2015

Glasgow Warriors have signed Australian centre Sam Johnson from the Reds and USA international lock Greg Peterson from Leicester Tigers.

The duo will be at Scotstoun until at least May 2017, with both having signed two-year deals with the side, subject to visas and medicals.

21-year-old Johnson first played schoolboy rugby for Australia 'A' after winning the Associated Independent Colleges competition with St Edmund's College in 2011.

He played Rugby League for the Gold Coast Titans U20s after school, before returning to Rugby Union at the end of 2013, when he joined the Reds wider training squad and returned to his former club GPS.

Johnson impressed the Reds coaching staff in 2014 as a regular in the midfield for Reds 'A' and GPS, which led to him making his Reds debut off the bench against the Western Force in Perth. He then went on to play five matches for Queensland Country in Australia's National Rugby Championship.

To date he has made two Super Rugby appearances for the Reds and has been named on the bench a further three times.

"I'm excited about working with the coaches at Glasgow and I've heard a lot of good things about the club and the city," said Johnson.

"I've spoken to a few boys at the Reds about Matt Taylor, who used to be the defence coach here and they've told me how good a coach he is, so it'll be good to work with him.

"Glasgow play free flowing rugby and I really like the way they attack, which is a bit different to typical European teams and defensively their structure is second to none.

"I've been watching the European Rugby Champions Cup this season and I'm looking forward to having the opportunity to test myself at that level against some of the best teams in the world.

"Hopefully I can make a contribution at the Warriors and learn as much as I can over the next couple of years."

24-year-old Peterson has been capped three times for USA and joined Leicester Tigers in December from Super Rugby side, the Waratahs. He has played three times for the Premiership side.

The Australian-born lock, who was with the Waratahs for five years after joining their Academy in 2009, has made one Super Rugby appearance.

In 2010, he made his Shute Shield debut for Manly, making his mark by winning the 2010 Shute Shield Rookie of the Year award in his first year out of school.

The towering forward, who stands at 6 foot 8 and weighs more than 19 stone, represented Australia U20s on eight occasions.

Peterson comes from a rich athletic background with his father having played American Football for Northwestern University in Chicago and his grandfather having played in one of the first ever rugby union games in the United States.

"I worked alongside some very good second rowers at the Waratahs such as Dean Mumm and Kane Douglas, who have excelled when they've moved to the northern hemisphere," he said.

"Gregor (Townsend) has given me the opportunity to join Glasgow and I believe I can help the team progress further.

"I've learnt a lot at Leicester Tigers about northern hemisphere rugby and I've loved my time there. I've always given one hundred percent and I'll do the same for Glasgow.

"I like the style of rugby Glasgow play and everybody works hard for each other, which is how I think the game should be played. The harder you work the more opportunities you get.

"Talking to Gregor about the values of the team and the way the team plays almost feels like a perfect fit, so when I get up there I'll grab the opportunity with both hands and show the supporters the kind of player I am."