Tuipulotu extends contract with Glasgow Warriors
Sione Tuipulotu has given Glasgow Warriors a major boost ahead of this weekend’s decisive EPCR Challenge Cup pool match with Bath at Scotstoun, after putting pen to paper on a contract extension that sees the centre commit his immediate future to the club subject to visa.
The 25-year-old has become a firm favourite with the Warrior Nation since arriving at Scotstoun from Japanese side Yamaha Jubilo in the summer of 2021, making himself a fixture in the midfield for both club and country.
Having made an immediate impression on his debut away to Ulster in the opening match of the 2021/22 campaign, Tuipulotu has made 30 appearances thus far in Glasgow colours, crossing the whitewash on four occasions to date.
His form in the 2022/23 season, however, has seen the centre earn plaudits from across not only Scottish rugby circles, but the BKT United Rugby Championship as a whole; his tally of 74 carries sees him sit behind only Sebastian Cancelliere amongst his fellow Warriors, with over 250 metres made with ball in hand so far this season.
Named as captain for the first time in the victory over the Vodacom Bulls back in October, the former Melbourne Rebel took home the McCrea Financial Services Warrior of the Month award for December after a string of impressive performances.
Comfortable at either inside or outside centre, Tuipulotu’s distribution has also made him a key weapon in the Glasgow attack, whilst his kicking game has been on full display over the course of the season through expertly-executed 50-22 punts and perfectly-timed, try-assisting grubber kicks.
His most recent contribution in a Glasgow Warriors jersey will be one that lives long in the memory of the Warrior Nation, setting up Cancelliere’s match-winning score in the 24-17 bonus-point win over the DHL Stormers at Scotstoun.
Capped 11 times for Scotland to date, Tuipulotu scored his first two tries in the famous dark blue jersey during the Autumn Nations Series victory over Argentina at BT Murrayfield in an eye-catching performance for Gregor Townsend’s men.
“I’m really happy to be sticking around for the next couple of years,” Tuipulotu told glasgowwarriors.org following the announcement of his renewal.
“I’m incredibly settled here, and I’m really enjoying life not just with the club, but in the city in general. I tell a lot of people back home that Glasgow’s like my second home, and I can’t see myself living anywhere else. That was the most important thing for me, to be honest – if I’m enjoying life in the city, then I’m enjoying my rugby. The two go hand in hand for me.
“Glasgow reminds me a lot of Melbourne, where I grew up – apart from the weather, obviously! There’s always something going on and I’ve just settled in so well with the boys here. I’ve got a lot of close friends that I’m very thankful for, and that’s a part of rugby that sometimes gets neglected – looking after the boys away from the training field is something that this club does so well, and I’m very thankful for that. I’m stoked to be sticking around.
“My main goal is to win something for Glasgow. When you’re walking around Scotstoun, you’re constantly bumping into guys who have won the league – guys like Pete Horne, Pete Murchie and Al Kellock. That motivates me to bring this club back to the top end of the league, and with the calibre of player we have here I truly believe that this club is capable of something special.”
Head Coach Franco Smith added: “We’re pleased to be able to secure Sione’s services for the foreseeable future.
“He’s someone that forms a big part of our plans for the future – he’s really bought into what we are doing here and he’s become a big leader within our playing group. He’s contributing a lot and he shows that he carries his heart on his sleeve every time he steps onto the pitch for us.
“Above that, too, he’s a hard worker and a top-rate person, and someone that is always eager to learn and improve. We’re looking forward to working with him closely over the rest of this season and beyond.”