Lemi arrives to give Glasgow boost on wing


Click to follow
The Independent Online

Glasgow Warriors have signed Samoa Rugby World Cup winger David Lemi until the end of the season.

The arrival of the former Wasps and Bristol player, 29, will be a welcome boost following the news that fans' favourite D T H van der Merwe is likely to miss a significant portion of the season with a shoulder injury.

Having lived in Britain since 2005, Lemi is classed as a British resident and will not be considered a "non-European" player for RaboDirect Pro 12 games.

Under tournament rules, a maximum of two non-European players are permitted in a team's match-day squad. The 30-cap flyer yesterday said that he is looking forward to the challenge. "I'm delighted to have signed for Glasgow Warriors and to have the chance to help the team enjoy a successful season," he said.

"One look at the squad list tells you that this is a club with a lot of talented players, and I'm confident that I can bring the benefit of my own experience to bear and play a part in the side continuing to win.'

Another Warriors winger, Dave McCall, has gone on a month's loan to RFU Championship side Rotherham Titans, while back-row forward Rory Pitman, who joined in May on a six-month loan from Ospreys, has returned to the Swansea club.

The Glasgow coach, Sean Lineen, said: "David's had a tough time so far this year with injury, and this is a great chance for him to get some games under his belt and take it from there."

Lineen has challenged his team to take their game to another level when they go in search of their fifth consecutive victory in tomorrow's Heineken Cup Pool 3 opener against Bath at Firhill.

He said: "This is an absolutely massive match for everyone connected with Glasgow Warriors, and we'll have to be right at the top of our game in every aspect of our performance to continue our good recent run.

"Bath's record in the tournament speaks for itself. They won it in 1998, reached the semi-finals in 2006 and have made the quarters on three other occasions. That's an indication of the experience and winning mentality they'll bring to the table, and it's going to take a huge effort from us to get the right result.

"The good thing is that we're heading into the match with confidence, having strung together a few wins, and a few different types of win."

The Glasgow starting line-up shows eight changes from that which ran out in Viadana. Behind the scrum, Stuart Hogg comes in at full-back, Rob Dewey and Graeme Morrison resume their centre pairing, while Colin Shaw replaces Federico Aramburu on the wing.

Hooker Pat MacArthur and tight-head prop Mike Cusack return to the front row, while Rob Harley and Ryan Wilson take up residence at blindside flanker and No 8 respectively.