Gloucester have confirmed that tighthead prop John Afoa will move down the M5 to join Bristol at the end of the current season.
A World Cup winner with New Zealand, Afoa is in his fourth campaign at Gloucester after spending two-and-a-half seasons with Ulster. During that time he’s been a mainstay of the Gloucester forward pack and is closing in on 100 competitive appearances for the club.
He has been a big presence in the squad, on and off the pitch, over the past couple of seasons and director of rugby David Humphreys admits that he’s made a fantastic contribution to the team.
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with John at Ulster and at Gloucester and can honestly say that he was a terrific signing for both clubs,” he told Gloucester’s website.
“He’s not just delivered on the pitch, he’s also played a key role in mentoring our young up and coming front row forwards.
“When the time comes, we’ll wish him all the best for the future but, for now, he’s still got an awful lot to give in the Cherry and White of Gloucester and I know he’ll be looking to finish on a high.”
Meanwhile, Afoa confirmed that he’s loved his time at Gloucester but looking forward to embracing his new challenge.
“It’s been a fantastic four seasons here at Gloucester. My family and I have come to love the club, the supporters and the city. It will always hold a special place in my heart,” he said.
“But I probably have a couple more seasons left in me and I wanted to experience a different sort of challenge before I hang up my boots. Gloucester have been really good to me, and there was the chance to stay but Bristol is an exciting project.
“That’s all a few months down the line though. We’ve still got heaps to play for here at Gloucester and I can assure everybody that’ll I’ll be giving it absolutely everything to make sure this season is as successful as possible for the club.”