Scotland and Glasgow Warriors scrum-half Chris Cusiter is to play club rugby in Australia over the next month in a drive to improve his readiness for this autumn’s Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.
Cusiter, 28, who played his third game in his comeback from a year-long knee problem, in Warriors’ final Magners League match of the season against Leinster on Friday, flew to Sydney last night (Saturday).
He will be available to play a maximum of four games for the Southern Districts club in Sydney, for which former Scotland tourist Derek Bain and former Scotland A forward Don Mackinnon played in the past.
Before his departure the 52-times-capped Cusiter said: “I’m really excited about this. I really need to get more game time and look, ideally to be a sharp as I can, to be in with a chance of World Cup selection.
“I’ve had three games back with Glasgow and need to work on my match fitness. The Sydney club rugby competition is very strong and hopefully I’ll be able to play four games and learn a bit from the experience.”
Cusiter’s short sojourn in Australia has been approved by his club coach Sean Lineen and by Scotland head coach Andy Robinson.
Lineen said: “It’s been great having Chris back for Glasgow but the end of our season has come at the wrong time for him. Like any player he has huge desire to play in the Rugby World Cup and he goes to Australia with our blessing as he seeks to build on his match fitness.”
Robinson noted: “I applaud Chris’s initiative here. He is striving to be in the best physical and mental shape he can be and attuned to the intensity a scrum-half faces, with the challenges that lie ahead later this year at the Rugby World Cup.”
Cusiter could well make his debut for Southern Districts on Saturday (14 May) when they are at home to Sydney University.