Glasgow sign experienced Irish pivot for Rainbow Cup
TRANSFER NEWS: Ireland international flyhalf Ian Keatley has joined Glasgow Warriors on a deal until the end of the 2020/21 season, adding a wealth of top-flight experience to Danny Wilson’s squad.
The 33-year-old strengthens the club’s flyhalf options ahead of the conclusion of the PRO14 campaign, as well as the inaugural Rainbow Cup scheduled to start in April.
Only former Glasgow Warriors flyhalf Dan Parks and Wales’ Dan Biggar can claim to have scored more points in the PRO14 than Keatley, who has amassed 1 524 points over 13 years in the competition.
On the announcement of Keatley, head coach, Danny Wilson, said: “Ian has been a fantastic player over the years for Munster, Connacht and more recently at Benetton.
“His experience will be great from a performance point of view. He will also be invaluable to the development of our young players, including the likes of Ross Thompson, and also enable us to look at Pete [Horne] in his natural position of inside centre.”
The flyhalf’s 212 appearances in the competition are surpassed only by his former Connacht captain John Muldoon, with the Dubliner having also been a part of a Munster squad that reached six semi-finals in his eight seasons at Thomond Park.
Keatley made his Ireland debut in May 2009, scoring 10 points in a victory over Canada. His most recent start for the men in green came in the autumn of 2017, when he slotted the match-winning kick in a 23-20 win over Fiji.
He becomes the first Irish international to represent Glasgow Warriors since James Downey, the centre having pulled on a Glasgow shirt on seven occasions in the 2014/15 campaign.’
On joining the club Keatley said: “It’s a strange time to be joining the team with everything that’s going on with COVID, however I’m really happy to be joining a club and a city with a proud rugby history.
“I’m looking forward to being able to start on a fresh slate with Glasgow and I’m excited to begin working with Danny and his coaching team.
“This club is a top-quality outfit and I’m relishing the chance to be able to play alongside some of its top-quality talent.”
Danny Wilson continued: “It’s apparent and appropriate to suggest that we need to add an experienced flyhalf to our situation that we are currently in.
“In our last recruitment cycle, before the season started, we wanted to bring in both a 15 and a 10. However, we didn’t get the opportunity to do that due to COVID.
“Pete Horne has done a great job for us at fly-half this season; however, 12 is his favoured position and with his recent concussion problems and Adam Hastings’ shoulder, we need bring in some experience at fly-half for the last six months of the season.
“We now have that opportunity and we are chuffed to be able to bring in someone of Ian’s quality, experience and knowledge into the squad.”