Celtic League: Glasgow Warriors have signed Irish centre James Downey from Munster
Last Updated: 27/06/14 11:23am
Glasgow Warriors have signed Ireland centre James Downey from Munster on a two-year deal.
Downey, 33, a Churchill Cup winner with Ireland in June 2009, began his career at Leinster before moving to Connacht and then to Munster in 2011.
Prior to his move back to Thomond Park for a second spell, he spent a season at Calvisano in Italy before moving to Northampton Saints.
Downey quickly became a regular in the Saints backline at inside centre, making 148 appearances and scoring 13 tries during a five-year spell at Franklin's Gardens. In 2009 he won the European Challenge Cup with Northampton.
He made 47 appearances for Munster and featured in all of their Heineken Cup games over the past two seasons, including the quarter-final win over Toulouse in Limerick in April.
He recently faced the Warriors at Scotstoun, after being included in Rob Penney's starting line-up for the RaboDirect PRO12 play-off in May which ended in defeat for the Irish province.
Downey, who won his one cap for Ireland against Canada on the North American tour last year, said: "I'm really excited about moving to Glasgow and taking on this new challenge. 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 RaboDirect 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 RaboDirect PRO12 play-off was incredible.
"I can't wait to meet my new teammates and start pre-season training.”
Glasgow Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend said: "James is a quality player who will be an excellent addition to our squad.
"He is a tough defender and brings real physicality when carrying the ball. Experience, as well as his rugby ability, will help us to make further progress as a squad next season.
"We're delighted he has chosen to come to Glasgow and adds to our depth at centre. I'd like to thank Scottish Rugby for their continued investment in our squad, which allows us to bring in a player of James' calibre."