Glasgow Warriors have delivered a significant statement of intent by securing Chris Cusiter, a British & Irish Lion and one of the leading scrum-halves in the world game, on a long-term deal.
Cusiter, who has agreed a three-year contract extension until the end of May 2015, is the seventh Warrior to commit his future to the club in the past seven weeks, and his retention will be celebrated by teammates and supporters alike.
Today he identified what he hopes to achieve in the coming years, and why he feels the Warriors is the right place to meet those ambitions.
He told www.glasgowwarriors.org: “I’m delighted to have signed for another three years, and I’m genuinely excited about what we’re in a position to realise here during that period of time.
“I’m personally very ambitious: I want to perform to a very high level with the Warriors in the RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup, helping the team achieve success, and I’m also determined to establish myself as the first choice scrum-half for Scotland.
“When I came to think about my future, my priority was making sure I was at a club that would help me reach those goals.
“I had a number of positive conversations with [Warriors head coach] Sean Lineen, [Scottish Rugby director of performance rugby] Graham Lowe and [Scottish Rugby chief executive] Mark Dodson, and was energised by what they had to say and by the challenge that lies ahead for us all.
“The vision is for the Warriors to become a regularly winning team in both the RaboDirect PRO12 and Heineken Cup, and to become a real focal point for rugby in Glasgow and the west of Scotland.
“It hasn’t gone unnoticed among the squad that this ambition is already being backed up with action: contracting is being done early in the season, we’ve brought in a lot of new sponsors, we’re moving to a new stadium, and we’ve just added a quality international winger to the team in David Lemi.
“All of that, and the fact I really enjoy Glasgow as a city, combined to help make up my mind that this is where I want to be for the foreseeable future.”
Lineen couldn’t hide his delight at retaining the services of what he calls “a real world class performer”, who joined the club in 2009 fresh from helping Perpignan win the French Top 14 title.
The head coach told www.glasgowwarriors.org: “Chris is an absolute joy to work with. He’s a fantastic talent who knows the value of continuous hard work, and he’s a positive and influential figure in our dressing room.
“He had his fair share of frustrations at the Rugby World Cup, but I knew he’d come back and react in the way he has. His form in a Glasgow jersey over the last month has been tremendous, and I’m looking forward to seeing much more of the same in the next three years.
“Keeping Chris here says to the world at large that we’re serious about taking Glasgow Warriors forward. I’d like to thank everyone at the club and at Scottish Rugby who played their part in making this happen.”
Dodson commented: “We’ve made it very clear that we see the growth of Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh Rugby as crucial to the overall development of the game in Scotland going forward.
“Retaining players like Chris is a significant part of that process. We’re thrilled he’s signed an extension with the Warriors and has bought into the ambitious plans that are being put in place for the club.”
Glasgow Warriors go on the trail of their fifth straight RaboDirect PRO12 win when they face Ulster at Firhill on Friday (kick-off 7.35pm). Supporters who book tickets via www.glasgowwarriors.org or on 0844 800 3490 by 3pm on Friday will save £5 on the regular match-day adult price of £20. Students/senior citizens £10, under-18s £5.
Tickets are also on sale at the Gordon Street and Sauchiehall Street branches of Greaves Sports.