Nick Grigg swaps Glasgow Warriors for Japanese club

Planet Rugby

Scotland international Nick Grigg will be moving on from Glasgow Warriors at the end of the calendar year, after agreeing an early release from his contract to take up an offer from Japanese side NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes.

The centre departs Scotstoun after nearly six years with the Warriors, having made his debut in a 12-6 victory over Leinster back in March 2016.

Renowned for his direct and powerful carrying in midfield, the 29-year-old has made 95 appearances to date in Glasgow colours, including helping the club to two Champions Cup quarter-finals and the 2019 PRO14 Final at Celtic Park.

Grigg’s form in his debut season as a professional was recognised by his team-mates, the former Petone man being voted as Players’ Player of the Season for the 2016/17 campaign.

His keen nose for the try-line has also seen him cross for 20 tries for the Warriors, including finishing off a memorable Niko Matawalu break against Leinster in 2017 and diving over for the sole Glasgow score in a famous 29-20 win over the Scarlets at Scotstoun in December 2018.

Fine form rewarded

The midfielder’s form in club colours saw him selected for the Scotland summer tour in 2017, making his international debut away to Fiji in Suva.

His tally of nine international caps to date includes a home debut off the bench against England in 2018, helping his side to a 25-13 victory over the Auld Enemy.

Grigg will link up with his new side in the New Year as they prepare for the inaugural Japan Rugby League One season, with the Osaka-based franchise having also added South Africa fly-half Elton Jantjies to their squad ahead of the new campaign.

“Playing for Glasgow Warriors has completely changed my life for the better and I’ve loved every minute of it,” Grigg told Glasgow Warriors’ official website.

“It was such a scary thing to do to leave your home country and to move to the other side of the world, but the prospect of playing at Glasgow Warriors and playing professional rugby was too good to turn down.

“It’s been so good being a Glasgow Warrior. Everyone who comes into the club comments on how good the environment here is – the players, the people and the culture – and I’ve got to experience than that for six years. It’s what makes this club so special and it’s going to be sad to leave.

“There have been a lot of highlights for me both on and off the pitch at Glasgow. I’ll always remember my first cap against Leinster back in March 2016, and my 50th against Scarlets when we went down to 14 men early on and still got the victory – there have been so many amazing moments.

“It’s sad to leave Glasgow but I’m looking forward to my next adventure. Danny [Wilson], Al [Kellock] and my agent Tom Beattie have worked hard and given me the chance to take this new opportunity – it’s a fresh start for me.

“I’ll be closer to home and my family, and I get to experience a new culture. Again, it’s quite scary but when I made that move here it completely changed my life. I’m going to miss Glasgow, the fans and the boys but it’s going to be another amazing experience to move over to Japan and play rugby.”

Warriors head coach Danny Wilson paid tribute to the centre, adding: “Nick is a well-liked character within our squad who has had some really good performances in a Glasgow Warriors shirt over the past six seasons.

“He’s someone who always gave his all for the club, and who was never afraid to front up to the challenge in front of him.

“He’ll be missed in our environment and we wish him all the best for the future as he starts the next chapter of his career in Japan.”