Scotland to raid New Zealand system?

Fri, 05 Jan 2018 11:03
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Glasgow Warriors centre Nick Grigg was playing for Petone club in Wellington, New Zealand - where he was born and raised - before uploading a YouTube video that would change his life.

The highlight reel was brought to the attention of Scottish coaches who were interested in Grigg. After discovering his grandfather hailed from Scotland, Grigg was jettisoned over to Europe.

Fast forward to 2018 and Grigg is an international rugby player, having debuted last year for Scotland.

“There are loads of guys that come through school and don’t quite make the New Zealand franchises,” Grigg told the BBC.

“I guess they get involved in other sports, in university and work, so they don’t really get to push for that goal they wanted.”

Grigg believes that there are more players out there that would be in a similar position to himself, who made the Wellington under-20s sides and Hurricanes development squad but didn’t get the opportunity to play professionally.

“I know it’s always good when you have the Scottish born-and-bred coming through, but there are lots of people back home that would be keen to come over and give it a shot as well,” said Grigg.

“But you can say that about every country really, I guess I was just lucky enough to put up a video on YouTube and come over here.”

He trialled with the Glasgow Warriors in 2015 and earned a spot in the Scottish Rugby Academy. Upon graduating from the academy in March 2016, the Warriors offered him a professional contract.

Scotland has expanded their search for eligible players abroad, launching their Scottish Qualified programme in October of 2017.

They have scouts stationed overseas looking for players who are eligible to represent Scotland, hoping to bolster their national ranks.

Grigg’s explosive running game translated to the pro game, showing similar burst for Glasgow in the Pro14 as he did for Petone.

It begs the question just how many players are there in New Zealand eligible for European nations.

By Colin Brooke, RugbyPass

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
PRO14
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 20 15 1 4 75
Munster 20 13 0 7 67
Cheetahs 20 11 0 9 58
Cardiff Blues 20 11 0 9 53
Ospreys 20 8 0 12 40
Connacht 20 6 0 14 34
Zebre 20 6 0 14 32
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 20 14 1 5 70
Scarlets 20 13 1 6 65
Edinburgh 20 14 0 6 64
Ulster 20 12 1 7 60
Treviso 20 11 0 9 54
Dragons 20 2 2 16 20
Kings 20 1 0 19 11