Glasgow Warriors sign veteran stand-off Ian Keatley for rest of season

Irishman will provide experience in a key position for Danny Wilson's men

Ian Keatley in action for Munster versus Glasgow Warriors back in 2016. Image: ©Craig Watson -
Ian Keatley in action for Munster versus Glasgow Warriors back in 2016. Image: ©Craig Watson -

GLASGOW WARRIORS head coach Danny Wilson has added veteran Irish stand–off Ian Keatley to his squad for the reminder of the season.

The 33-year-old, who was capped seven times by Ireland between 2009 and 2017, parted company with Benetton last week, three-quarters of the way through a two-year deal, and will add some valuable experience in a key position for Warriors.

Adam Hastings has been out of action since October with a shoulder injury and is unlikely to be seen again in Warriors colours until after the Six Nations, before departing for Gloucester in the summer.

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Pete Horne is currently out with a concussion and is, at any rate, principally a centre who can play stand-off.

Brandon Thomson, who is out of contract in the summer, is struggling for confidence and form at the moment.

That leaves academy prospect Ross Thompson, who picked up the man-of-the-match award for an assured performance in his first start for the club in Saturday’s 1872 Cup win over Edinburgh, and it is hoped that Keatley can provide the 21-year-old with some back-up and support.

“Ian Keatley has been a fantastic player over the years for Munster, Connacht and more recently at Benetton,” said Wilson..

“Ian’s experience will be great from a performance point of view. He will also be invaluable to the development of our young players, including the likes of Ross Thompson, and also enable us to look at Pete [Horne] in his natural position of inside centre.

“It’s apparent and appropriate to suggest that we need to add an experienced fly-half to our situation that we are currently in.

“In our last recruitment cycle, pre the season starting, we wanted to bring in both a 15 and a 10, however, we didn’t get the opportunity to do that due to COVID.

“Pete Horne has done a great job for us at fly-half this season, however, 12 is his favoured position and with his recent concussion problems, and Adam Hastings’ shoulder, we need bring in some experience at fly-half for the last six months of the season.

“We now have that opportunity and we are chuffed to be able to bring in someone of Ian’s quality, experience and knowledge into the squad.”

Only former Glasgow Warriors fly-half Dan Parks and Wales’ Dan Biggar can claim to have scored more points in the Guinness PRO14 than Keatley, who has amassed 1,524 points over 13 years in the competition. The fly-half’s 212 appearances in the competition are surpassed only by his former Connacht captain John Muldoon.

“It’s a strange time to be joining the team with everything that’s going on with COVID, however, I’m really happy to be joining a club and a city with a proud rugby history,” said Keatley.

“I’m looking forward to being able to start on a fresh slate with Glasgow and I’m excited to begin working with Danny and his coaching team.

“This club is a top quality outfit and I’m relishing the chance to be able to play alongside some of its top quality talent.”

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About David Barnes 3956 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. IK good short term addition to the squad. Thompson at 21 not exactly a boy,put some experience round about him & let him run the show.

  2. I’m only considering Keatly as a signing until the season ends for now.
    So in that case i think this is a very good signing a stop-gap.

    Im hoping Ross Thompson is still the starting 10, but i would have Keatly as the bench option over Thomson.

      • I’d say with his experience he will be there next season. One thing Glasgow need are older heads in there who have seen it done it and bought the t-shirt. Keatley fits that bill.

  3. Weir as a realistic starter with him and Keatley giving the benefit of their experience to Thompson throughout this season in training. I think that looks like the logical play. I can’t see Keatley getting too many starts, and I am sure Weir will want that starting position. Likelihood is he will have to share it with Thompson.

    The team need to be thinking without Hastings from now on. He’s gone in the summer and Horne is not a stand-off.

    Make that 3 your season-long target for consistency, and get them supporting each other in competing for that starting berth.


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