GREGOR TOWNSEND has hailed the signing of South African flanker Tyrone Holmes as a key piece of business for next season.

Glasgow had looked light at openside with the departure of John Barclay to the Scarlets earlier in the summer but the arrival of the 27-year-old former Stormers and Western Province forward, who qualifies to play for Scotland courtesy of his Peebles-born father, will add some much needed competition and cover for the No.7 shirt.

Holmes will, subject to a medical, join up with the Warriors for pre-season a week on Monday, after agreeing a one-year deal.

And Townsend is hoping he can emulate the impact of his South African compatriot, Josh Strauss, in his debut season with Warriors.

He said: "We are delighted to get Tyrone and the big positive for us is that he will be able to join up with us in the next couple of weeks which is a major plus for a signing from the Southern Hemisphere.

"I remember when we signed Niko (Matawalu) that we had a couple of months delay before we were able to get all the visa paperwork processed. But Tyrone we will be with us a week on Monday and that will mean he has had plenty of time.

"He is an openside flanker who can also play at blindside and No.8 and was pretty much ever-present for Western Province when they won both the Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup in 2012.

"He also went on to play Super Rugby with the Stormers. Tyrone has also had experience of playing in England with Northampton, Penzance and the Cornish Pirates. So he ticks a lot of boxes for us and I have high hopes that he can make a similar impact to Josh Strauss for us next season."

However, the arrival of the South African flanker will undoubtedly add much-needed competition at openside with second time around Warrior Richie Vernon also capable of filling the role while Toony continues to run the rule over Edinburgh Accies player Callum Reid.

With former Glasgow Player of the Year Chris Fusaro back at full fitness, and impressing in early pre-season, what was a perceived weakness may yet become a strength.

The Warriors head coach said: "We now have quite a bit of cover over the back-row and you must remember that Rob Harley also played at openside back at Christmas.

"Richie Vernon is very versatile when it comes to the back row and Chris Fusaro is back at full-fitness and has been looking very impressive in pre-season so far. I am happy with the cover we have now at openside and across the back row."