USA international lock Greg Peterson has re-joined Glasgow Warriors on a short-term contract, five years after his first three-season stint at Scotstoun came to an end. Now 32, Peterson has been brought in primarily as cover for JP du Preez, who will be out of action for the whole season after needing surgery on a knee injury sustained in training.

With Scott Cummings and Richie Gray due a break after the Rugby World Cup, once the length of Du Preez’s absence was confirmed Warriors coach Franco Smith decided he needed to bring in an experienced lock to supplement the young talent at the club such as Max Williamson and Alex Samuel. "With JP starting his rehabilitation and Scott and Richie’s return to be managed after a tough training camp and Rugby World Cup for Scotland, we’re happy to be able to add someone of Greg’s experience and quality to strengthen our squad for the start of the season," Smith said.

“We’ve been really pleased with how Max and Alex, and [academy lock] Ruaraidh Hart, have shown up in our pre-season games, as developing our young talents is key not only for us, but for Scottish rugby overall. We want to make sure that they are given their chances when they are ready as our depth of squad will be important, so adding Greg gives us an additional option in the second row and we’re pleased to welcome him into our group at Scotstoun.”

Born in Sydney and capped by Australia at under-20 level, Peterson played his early club career in his native country before moving to Leicester Tigers in 2014. He made his Test debut for the United States that year too, having qualified thanks to a grandfather having been born there.

He played for the USA in their pool defeat by Scotland at the 2015 World Cup, a few months after joining the Warriors from Leicester Tigers. He was also selected for the US squad that competed at the  2019 World Cup, and currently has 39 caps. 

Peterson spent three seasons at Scotstoun before moving on, leaving for France for what turned out to be just a single campaign with Bordeaux-Begles. He then joined Newcastle Falcons, and went on to spend four seasons there before becoming one of a multitude of players to be released by the Kingston Park club at the end of last season.

“The opportunity to come back to Glasgow was an easy one,” Peterson said. “Tess [his wife] and I made a lot of lifelong friends during our first spell here and it’s a place and a club that hold a lot of fond memories for us, so the decision was pretty straightforward when I got asked to come back for the next couple of months.

“It all came about pretty quickly really. I’m thankful that it all got sorted out pretty quickly – the biggest obstacle was the multiple time zones we were dealing with. I was back in Australia and then over in Salt Lake City with the USA squad, but we got it over the line.”

Peterson played 32 times for Glasgow during his three earlier seasons at the team, and at 6ft 8in was invariably a very reliable source of lineout ball. While knowing he may only have the chance to represent the team for a handful of games this time round, he hopes to be able to show he is a better player now - but is also content to play a supportive role for the squad’s less experienced locks. 

“I definitely feel like I’ve developed as a player and a person since I was last here,” he added. “I’ve had two kids since then, so I’ve learnt a lot of patience for sure! I’ve learnt a huge amount from both the Top14 and Premiership, too, and matured as a second-rower, so hopefully I can come back, help the young boys we’ve got here and help us start the season off strongly.

“I’m so excited to hear Scotstoun bouncing again – the place will be packed out for Family Day, which is one I’m already looking forward to, and Leinster is always a massive game. I can’t wait.”