GLASGOW Warriors lock forward Brian Alainu’uese has signed a new two-year contract with the club - a just reward for a highly impressive first season in Scottish rugby.
The 23-year-old New Zealander arrived in Scotstoun in October on a short-term deal that was due to expire at the end of this season. He has quickly become a favourite with the supporters thanks to his relentlessly committed style of play in both attack and defence.
Having previously played for Waikato and made a couple of appearances for the Chiefs, Alainu’uese is already known to Dave Rennie, the incoming coach. Rennie, who will take over from Gregor Townsend at the end of this season, has been in charge of the Chiefs for the past five years.
Loading article content
“I’ve really enjoyed my time in Glasgow,” Alainu’uese said yesterday. “I’ve extended my contract for two years and I’m excited for what lies ahead. There is a lot of competition within the squad and I’ve learnt a lot from the other second-rows at the club.
“I have to pinch myself when the supporters chant my name. I’ve never had that before and that gets me going and keeps me playing hard for the team and the fans.
“It’ll be good to work with Dave Rennie again next season, but at the moment I’m just focusing on Gregor and Dan [McFarland, the forwards coach] and doing what they want me to do.”
The Invercargill-born forward has been a late developer, due in large part to a long-term injury. But Townsend is convinced that, with a good run of games behind him, he is set to keep on improving over the next couple of seasons.
“Brian has fitted in really well since joining us earlier this season,” the head coach said. “He has made a number of improvements both physically and in his set-piece play, and he played well during the Six Nations window. We believe that there is a lot more to come from him and we’re delighted that he’ll continue his development at Scotstoun over the next two years.”
Meanwhile, Harlequins fly-half Nick Evans is to retire from rugby at the end of this season.
The 36-year-old New Zealander joined Quins in 2008, making more than 200 appearances and scoring over 2,200 points – a club record.
During his career at the Aviva Premiership club, Evans helped them win the league title and the European Challenge Cup.
In a statement released by Quins, Evans said:”I couldn’t think of a better shirt and place to finish my career at than Harlequins, I want to thank the club and fans for making myself and my family feel unbelievably welcome. It has made our time so special.”