A DAY after allowing Henry Pyrgos to move to Edinburgh, Glasgow have announced the signing of Australian international scrum-half Nick Frisby. The 25-year-old has agreed a two-year deal, subject to acquiring a visa and passing a medical, and will add to the already strong competition for the Warriors No 9 jersey.
Born in Brisbane, Frisby played for Queensland Reds for five years from 2012, often as understudy to Will Genia. He was under contract with the Super Rugby team until 2019, but at the start of this year was deemed surplus to requirements by head coach Brad Thorn and went on loan to Bordeaux-Begles in France. A former Australia Under-20s scrum-half, he made his full Wallabies debut against England in 2016.
Speaking to the Warriors’ official website, Frisby explained he was already familiar with some of the club’s coaching and playing staff, and was confident he would fit into their way of playing. “I’m super excited to be joining Glasgow Warriors,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting over and ripping into pre-season with the boys.
“I played club rugby with Sam Johnson back in Brisbane and worked under Matt Taylor at the Reds, so they’ve both told me how good the club is and how hard the boys work, so I’m excited to get over and be involved. I’ve played against Dave Rennie’s sides in Super Rugby and as soon as I heard he and Glasgow were interested it was a no-brainer. His Chiefs sides were always really exciting, and Glasgow are too and I think his style of play will suit my game really well.”
While he will fight for a place in the starting line-up, Frisby’s main usefulness could come during the international window, when both George Horne and Ali Price are likely to be called up by Scotland. Niko Matawalu can also play at scrum-half, of course, but since his return to Scotstoun he has been largely used as a replacement winger – besides which, he may be away playing for Fiji.
Scotland Under-20 cap Kaleem Barreto will hope to be in contention in the autumn too, and as Frisby can also play at stand-off, the pair may even find themselves in the same Warriors line-up during the Autumn Internationals or Six Nations. Frisby’s versatility should certainly come in useful at those times when Pete Horne and possibly Adam Hastings are absent on international duty.
“With Henry Pyrgos moving on it’s great to replace him with an international half-back,” Rennie said. “Nick has an outstanding skill set, he is quick and has a quality pass and kick. He’s also incredibly versatile: while he’s predominantly a nine, the Reds sometimes played him at 10, and as a young player he played a lot at 15.
“Coaching the Chiefs, when we were playing the Reds we would dedicate time in the week leading up to the game to shutting Nick down because of how dangerous he can be. His running game and ability to create space for others is a real point of difference. I’ve spoken to him recently and he’s incredibly competitive. He’s still a young man and we’re really excited to have him here and the fact that he’ll be here all year round is an extra bonus.”