Greg Peterson’s return to Glasgow Warriors in October was one that he’d never envisaged becoming reality in the summer. 

The popular lock departed Scotstoun in 2018 for Bordeaux Begles but he penned a short-term deal until January to complete his comeback - but it wasn’t planned. VISA issues, caused by an HMRC error, accelerated his departure from the United Kingdom after his spell at Newcastle Falcons ended and Peterson planned on returning to Australia. 

The difficulties caused from being away from family when raising young children was central to Peterson’s desire to return home, but that opportunity never materialised during a turbulent few months. 

“Before returning to Glasgow, I was back in Australia,” Peterson admitted. “ had about three weeks [in Aus] and then when this came up I got the visa sorted and came back over

“With foreigners, someone like myself, it’s just bog standard sponsorship. They sponsor you from the start of the season to the end of the season. HMRC made a mistake and did from the start of one thing to another [no idea what he means here] so it was off by six weeks. It was nothing crazy but it just meant we had to leave a little bit quicker.

"There were a lot of opportunities. When we initially left there were opportunities in France, there were opportunities within Australia, there were opportunities in Japan. 

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“Unfortunately, everything dried up a little bit. Obviously you’ll have seen how the global dynamic is with the influx of players and it was like whoever would take the cheapest deal the quickest.

“With being where I was at this time in my career I didn’t want to compromise. I had a really good career down at Newcastle, played some really good rugby and put myself at a really good standard and I wanted to get what I deserved. That didn’t happen but my wife and I were happy to wait. We also wanted to get back closer to home which is Sydney, Australia, where my family is and her family is.

“Unfortunately, things didn’t pan out but the opportunity came to come up here on a short-term deal so we liked the idea of that. Get my foot back in the door, playing rugby, which I was excited about, and it’s a very familiar place for us.” 

On his plan to return to Australia, Peterson continued: “There was the idea of that, yes, but like I said, when we moved back there were five or six different options. Different ones were popping up every week and the time zones were insane. I was waking up at 3 or 4am to check my phone and then correspond with my agent about French clubs, English clubs or whoever.

“We wanted to try to get closer to home. We’ve got a young family and that can be very difficult without family members close by. 

“So it was a fine situation, a bit stressful at times, but we got unadulterated time with grandparents and the weather was lovely back in Sydney so I can’t really complain.”

Despite his short-term contract, Peterson has still played a pivotal role so far this season, starting in the two wins over Leinster and the Stormers. 

Peterson worked predominantly under the tutelage of Gregor Townsend during his previous spell at Glasgow and there were subtle changes during his absence, but the 32-year-old has been impressed with the continuity behind the scenes.

“Some of the coaching staff have changed but the big thing I noticed is that a lot of the interns that were around when I left have now progressed through to hold senior positions,” Peterson admitted. “So it’s really nice to see organisations hiring and promoting from within because it creates loyalty and love for the place.

“The city hasn’t changed much which is awesome, so there’s that familiarity and that’s one of the reasons why we wanted to come back, plus there’s a core group who were there that are still here which made it a really easy decision.”

Franco Smith clearly values Peterson’s experience in the pack with a potential contract extension beyond January a realistic possibility, but the USA international is only focused on his performances. 

“Thats not really up to me,” he conceded on his future. “The whole idea was to come over and play some rugby at a high level. If there is an opportunity to stay then I’m sure that’ll come up in the next month or two. 

"Like I said, I’m just here to put my foot in the door and play the best I can and help an organisation I love and be in a really good position at the start of the season. And this being a World Cup season, if you can make a really good start without your World Cup players against some top teams then it can help carry you through the rest of the season.”

Glasgow have made a positive start to the season, beating two of the best teams in the URC, ahead of their trip to play Ospreys this weekend and Peterson has been impressed with his teammates.

Asked to compare the current Glasgow team to his first spell, Peterson replied: “It’s definitely a stronger team. There’s a lot more continuity, and I think there’s a lot of really good young players coming through too. When I was here before it was kind of a bit of an old guard, with a hard edge. Now, there’s a bit more attacking flair, a bit more exciting rugby and still that underlying hard edge which Franco brings with his South African heritage.

“It’s a really good team, and it’s exciting to be a part of and I’m really enjoying it so far.”