Glasgow could be poised to regain Scotstoun fan favourite Leone Nakarawa after the Fijian was sensationally sacked by Racing 92 yesterday.
The former European player of the year was two weeks late returning to the Paris club after the Rugby World Cup, although he claimed the club was aware of family duties keeping him back in Fiji.
However a statement from Racing yesterday accused Nakarawa of “abandoning his post” and of a “deplorable example”, and his contract – thought to be worth near €1 million a year – has been terminated.
Clubs all over Europe are bound to be interested in the dynamic and powerful 31-year-old, especially Glasgow. Nakarawa was bought out of his contract at the Warriors to go to Paris three years ago after starring for Glasgow in the Guinness PRO14.
Current Warriors head coach Dave Rennie said they were interested and the club would be making contact with Nakarawa.
“We heard a whisper this could happen, and obviously it’s only become official today,” said Rennie. “The whole of Europe will be making phone calls to his agent.
“There’s likely to be a bit of follow-up (from Glasgow) now. There will be contact.”
Nakarawa remains a popular figure at Scotstoun and has retained the friendship of many of those with whom he played for Glasgow.
“He’s really tight with a lot of these boys here, I know (Ryan) Wilson’s in constant contact with him,” continued Rennie. “He’s a fan favourite, he loved it here, the boys all loved him and I guess we’ll be dipping into everyone’s pockets.
“If we could make that happen it would be brilliant.”
Nakarawa played 69 times for Glasgow scoring eight tries between signing his first professional contract with the club in 2013 to departing at the end of the 2016 season. His man of the match performance in Belfast was the key to the Warriors winning the 2015 PRO12 final against Munster.
Glasgow’s pool rivals in Europe this season Sale Sharks are known to be another club that’s had contact with the Fijian, but other English Premiership and French Top 14 clubs are bound to be interested.
Glasgow are in France for the first of their two games with La Rochelle which will make or break their Heineken Champions Cup campaign and Rennie has made ten changes to the team that went down at home to Leinster on Saturday.
George Horne and Adam Hastings return to half-back and Zander Fagerson and Fraser Brown to the front row, but Oli Kebble is out under concussion protocols and Alex Allan will start at loose head.
“It is the strongest team available,” said Rennie. “Playing at home is important to La Rochelle and they’ll put out their best side, we believe.
“They had a good win against Castres last week at home. When they played Exeter it looked like a pretty one-sided game based on the scoreline, but it was a lot tighter than that.
“We’re aware of what’s coming, we expect them to be at full strength and we’re going there to give it a decent lick.”
Glasgow team: Tommy Seymour; Niko Matawalu, Nick Grigg, Sam Johnson, DTH van der Merwe; Adam Hastings, George Horne; Alex Allan, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson; Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray; Callum Gibbins (capt), Ryan Wilson, Matt Fagerson.
Replacements: George Turner, Aki Seiuli, Adam Nicol, Rob Harley, Tom Gordon, Ali price, Pete Horne, Kyle Steyn.