GORDON REID, who was playing for Scotland as recently as last October’s World Cup in Japan before signing with the Ayrshire Bulls Super6 franchise at the start of this season, has joined Northampton Saints with immediate effect, on a deal to the end of the season.
The 33-year-old explained at the time of his recruitment by the Bulls – as the biggest name signing of the new league – that his decision was for family reasons. He had spent the previous two years playing for London Irish after seven seasons with Glasgow Warriors, but his wife had not settled in England and had already moved back to their native Ayrshire.
He wasn’t offered a full-time contract by Dave Rennie at Glasgow Warriors, so opted instead to return to Millbrae, where he had initially made his name playing for Ayr in the old Scottish Premiership.
“I’m pleased to be back with my family, that is the main thing,” he said at the time. “I loved it down in London, but my wife didn’t so she moved back up. From then on it was always my goal to get back up here to be with Marissa and our daughter Emerson. Whether that was playing here or elsewhere, it had to be near my family, so when this opportunity came up, I grabbed it with both hands.”
He subsequently agreed a partnership contract with Glasgow Warriors but did not make a competitive appearance for the Scotstoun outfit, and has now taken up an opportunity to be part of the Saint’s push to make the play-offs this season.
“I’m really excited to get this opportunity to return to the Gallagher Premiership and contribute towards what will hopefully be a successful season for Northampton Saints,” said Reid. “This is a Club steeped in history and pedigree, and the team have played some quality rugby already this year, showing they are genuine contenders for silverware. So I’m looking forward to getting into training straight away and putting my hand up for selection.”
Northampton Saints’ scrum coach Matt Ferguson believes Reid will add valuable strength in depth in a key position. “We’ve been really happy with how Manny Iyogun and Toby Trinder have been going with England U20s and Coventry respectively, but we felt like we needed some experienced support for Francois van Wyk and Ben Franks after Alex Waller’s injury,” he said.
“So to get someone of Gordy’s quality, straight in from training with Scotland’s Six Nations squad, is excellent news for us. I worked with Gordy at London Irish – so he knows the Premiership – and I found him to be not only a very strong scrummager, but also a great character with plenty of grit. He was certainly top of the shopping list for us.
“He’s very much about helping others and imparting knowledge, which is a key feature of our front-row group. We wanted someone who was going to fit straight into our group and into the culture of Saints, so I’m stoked Gordy is here.
“We’re very grateful to both Glasgow and Ayr for releasing him.”
A statement issued by the Bulls said: “We wish Gordy all the best at Northampton and thank him for his services.”