GLASGOW WARRIORS have signed Old Glory DC hooker, Jack Iscaro, on a training contract until the beginning of the USA club’s debut Major League Rugby season in December, as part of Scottish Rugby’s partnership with the Washington outfit which was first announced in March of this year.
Warriors have three hookers currently involved with Scotland’s World Cup training squad in Fraser Brown, George Turner and Grant Stewart. The first two of those players are certainties to be named in Gregor Townsend‘s final 31-man grouping for Japan, and if one of that pair drops out through injury then Stewart will take their place. Meaning, basically, Rennie’s squad is desperately short of depth in this crucial position during the first half of the coming season.
Mesu Dolokoto joined the club earlier this summer but appears to be in the frame to make the final cut for Fiji’s World Cup squad, having come off the bench in his nation’s historic victory over New Zealand Maori in Suva two weeks ago.
Apart from that, there are no other full-time hookers on the books, with former Scotland Under-20s captain and Glasgow Academy member Robbie Smith off to English Championship side Bedford Blues, while Kevin Bryce has stepped out of pro rugby and taken up a player/coach role with National League Two side GHK.
Two Edinburgh based hookers from last season’s Tennent’s Premiership (presumably Super6 next season) in Johnny Matthews of Boroughmuir and Ross Graham of Watsonians have been training with the squad in recent weeks.
Iscaro is a product of the rugby programme at the University of California, Berkeley, led by former USA head coach Jack Clark, which has previously produced internationals such as former Cardiff Blues and USA Eagles captain Blaine Scully, and most capped USA international of all time Mike MacDonald.
He played his youth rugby with the Maryland Exiles programme and his high school rugby with Gonzaga College High School, where he helped to earn two National Championships. He can also play at prop and will train with the Warriors until December.
The 21-year-old was not involved when Scotland Under-20s defeated Old Glory DC 70-7 in a warm-up match in Washington in May, ahead of their World Championship campaign in Argentina. Scotland finished last in that tournament and were consequentially relegated to the second tier World Trophy competition next year, where they will play against the likes of Brazil, Portugal, Hong Kong and Uruguay, rather than the leading nations in the top tier competition.
“Jack coming to Scotstoun to train in our environment is the first example of the partnership between Old Glory DC and Scottish Rugby being utilised from a talent perspective,” said Glasgow Warriors’ Head of Rugby Operations, John Manson, who recently visited Old Glory DC on a consultancy basis. “It’s a great opportunity for an impressive young player to learn in a new setting, working closely with our coaches, trainers and playing squad.”
Iscaro added: “This is a great opportunity for me and I’d like to thank the coaches at Old Glory DC and Glasgow Warriors for facilitating this move. I’m really happy to be in Glasgow and I’m looking forward to the next few months with the Warriors.”