EIGHT months on, Callum Gibbins is finally ready to start his new adventure with Glasgow Warriors.

The 28-year-old put pen to paper on a three-year deal with the Pro14 outfit back in February, but his summer has been occupied with helping the Hurricanes reach the Super Rugby semi-finals.

“It’s been a long time coming, to be honest,” said the flanker having only recently completed his first training session.

“It’s probably getting close to eight months since we agreed the deal, so it’s nice to finally touch down and get here. 

“Once I knew I was coming, I kept an eye on the team and the guys to see how they were doing.”

It has been worth the wait for the back-row forward, who has been blown away by the welcome he has received in Scotland. He said: “It’s amazing – I just turned up and there’s a house full of food and a list of things I can do around the city!

“The guys have been great, so accommodating. I’ve only been here for a few days but it feels like I’ve been here for much longer already.”

The New Zealander is one of 11 new faces to check into Scotstoun this summer as Dave Rennie’s regime as Head Coach gets underway following the departure of Gregor Townsend to the Scotland post. 

Chiefs wing Lelia Masaga and Highlanders prop Siosiua Halanukonuka have also arrived from his homeland, where Rennie has coached the Chiefs for the last five years, while Huw Jones, Oli Kebble and Brandon Thomson have also made the switch from Super Rugby after signing from Stormers in South Africa.

But the flanker is under no illusions as to the competition for places he will face in the coming campaign as he prepares for a first taste of northern hemisphere rugby. 

The likes of Chris Fusaro, Rob Harley, Matt Smith, Lewis Wynne and Ryan Wilson will be vying for a starting spot under the new coach, but one player in particular has impressed Gibbins so far.

“Adam Ashe has been pretty inspirational – I watched him against Northampton in Stirling and he’s a great player who’s going to have a great season,” he said.

“The group look like they’re going really well, so it’ll be highly contested for sure.”

While admitting that blistering pace is not one of his major strengths, Gibbins pointed to a tireless work ethic as one of his strongest assets.

He told glasgowwarriors.org: “I just think my way around things and use my head a bit more now that I’m getting a bit older. 

“I like to think I’m a hard worker and let my actions do the talking.

“I sat down the other night and had a think about what I want to achieve. 

“I’m not too sure what the coaches have got planned for me, but I want to prove that I’m here to play rugby, not to muck around. 

“I don’t think I’ve played my best rugby yet, so I’m looking forward to pushing on here.”

Warriors fell to a narrow 19-14 defeat against Northampton Saints over the weekend and face one further pre-season friendly away to Dragons on Friday before the league season kicks off. 

Glasgow then open their campaign in the new-look Pro14 with a trip to Connacht on Saturday, September 2.