GLASGOW have boosted their back-row options for next season with the signing of Tongan international Sione Vailanu from Worcester Warriors on a deal which will run for an undisclosed period of time.

The 27-year-old – who stands 6ft 1ins and weighs 18 ½ stone – is an explosive ball-carrier who has scored three tries in 17 appearances for Worcester this season, with his most recent score a sensational effort from halfway against Bristol Bears last month, when he bowled over three tacklers on his way to the line.

“I had multiple opportunities for next season in different countries but when the opportunity arose to join Glasgow, I didn’t think twice about it,” said Vailanu.

“Glasgow has a rich tradition of success and with Danny Wilson as head coach and the players that we currently have, I have no doubts that tradition will continue next season and beyond. I cannot wait to get started and meet our fans at Scotstoun!”

Vailanu previously had spells playing for Saracens and Wasps. He will compete for game-time in his favoured No 8 slot against Scotland international Matt Fagerson and Jack Dempsey, who has played internationally for Australia but can, if he chooses, switch to Scotland in October through World Rugby’s controversial new player eligibility laws.

Under the new rules, players who have already been capped can now change allegiance once they have completed a three-years cooling off period, so long as they have “a close and credible link via birth-right” to their new country.

Dempsey last played for Australia in October 2019 and has a Scottish grandfather, but has been non-committal about the prospect of becoming a member of Gregor Towensend’s squad during the lead-up to the 2023 World Cup. If he does opt in then the demands on national squad members over the next 18 months means that Wilson will need a third frontline No 8.

“We’re really pleased to secure Sione’s signature ahead of next season,” said Warriors head coach Danny Wilson. “He’s a really powerful carrier who can give us real go-forward with ball in hand.

“We’ve been looking to add to our options in the back-row, and he adds to the talent that we already have in that area, so it’s another step forward in building depth in our squad.

“His recent form has been excellent for Worcester, including winning man-of-the-match against Wasps, and we look forward to welcoming him to Scotstoun this summer.”