GLASGOW WARRIORS have signed Italian winger Leonardo Sarto, subject to a medical. The 24-year-old, who will arrive in the summer from Zebre, has penned a two-year deal which will keep him at Scotstoun until May 2018.
Sarto has played 26 times for Italy and scored on his international debut against Scotland in the South African Quadrangular Tournament in June 2013. He has also scored for his country against Ireland, England, Wales and Romania.
The rangy winger will be viewed as a natural replacement for Fijian wide man Taqele Naiyaravoro, who is set to leave the club this summer. However, with Sarto likely to be key man for the Italian national team for the foreseeable future, he will struggle to fully contribute to the team during the vital Autumn Test and Six Nations windows.
Sarto has started all three of Italy’s Six Nations games so far this season against France, England and Scotland, as well as all four of their Rugby World Cup pool matches last year, scoring a try in the win over Romania. He has made 50 appearances for Zebre over the last four years.
“Glasgow Warriors are a massive club and play a great style of rugby. I wanted to move to the UK as I know the standard of rugby is high and I want to improve my game. Joining a club like Glasgow Warriors will help me do that. I’ve always known Glasgow is a great club and I know Simone Favaro is enjoying it there. I hear the fans love him and I hope I will have a similarly good relationship with them when I move over,” said Sarto.
“Leonardo has been one of the best wingers in the Pro 12 over the past few seasons and has an ability to break tackles. He has also performed well at Test level and had an excellent all-round game against Scotland last month. He is somebody we’ve been tracking for a while and we’re delighted that he has committed to us from next season. We believe that he will make further improvements in our environment and will add to the competition for places in our backline,” added Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend.