Downey set for Glasgow after signing two-year deal
Published 28/06/2014 | 02:30
James Downey, told he had no future at Munster by new coach Anthony Foley, has been snapped up by rising Pro12 stars Glasgow Warriors on a two-year deal after seeing his hopes of a move to France fall through.
The 33-year-old centre, capped once for Ireland, will begin life at his seventh club – he had two spells at Munster – on their pre-season tour in France once a medical is completed.
Downey, who returned from big-hitting Northampton Saints with high hopes of making his mark with both Munster and Ireland, did neither as the club struggled to accommodate him alongside another ill-fitting investment, Casey Laulala. Both have now left the club as Foley begins to stamp his authority following the departure of Kiwi Rob Penney.
"I'm really excited about moving to Glasgow and taking on this new challenge," said the popular Downey, who could argue that Munster failed to offer him as much as he tried to offer them.
"This is a great opportunity for me to join an ambitious club and hopefully I can have a successful couple of years in Glasgow.
"The squad gets stronger each year and reaching the Pro12 final for the first time last season shows the progress the club is making. I know I'll have to work hard to get into the team.
"I'm looking forward to playing at Scotstoun regularly in front of very passionate supporters. The atmosphere at the Pro12 play-off was incredible. I can't wait to meet my new team-mates and start pre-season training."
Glasgow controversially defeated Downey's Munster side in last May's Pro12 semi-final.
A Churchill Cup winner with Ireland in June 2009, Downey began his career at Leinster before moving to Connacht and then Munster.
Prior to joining Munster for a second spell in 2011, he spent a season at Calvisano in Italy before moving to Northampton Saints.
He quickly became a regular in the Saints backline at inside-centre. In 2009 he won the European Challenge Cup with Northampton and made 47 career appearances for Munster.