Springbok flanker Jaco Kriel has rejoined the Lions from Gloucester on a three-year deal with immediate effect.
Director of Rugby David Humphreys confirmed that Kriel’s request to be released early from his contract had been agreed with a heavy heart.
“It’s a real shame. But Jaco has personal reasons for wanting to return home and, although we very much want him to stay, we are sympathetic to his request. We are fortunate that the back row is a position of strength for us.
🏉 RUGBY— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) February 3, 2020
Gloucester Rugby can confirm that @jacok6 has been released early from his contract to return home to South Africa to re-join @LionsRugbyCo.
Full story 👉🏻 https://t.co/J0jepisjPb pic.twitter.com/xz9eDhbPB6
“I’m personally really sorry to see Jaco leave Gloucester Rugby without him ever really getting the opportunity to show the supporters just how good a player he is. He’s been so unfortunate with injuries, but I’m delighted he’s now got the opportunity to get back playing Super Rugby with the Lions.
“Jaco’s ability and leadership qualities, and the standards he set in everything he did at the club, will be missed by everyone but I wish him every success for the rest of his career back in South Africa.”
Meanwhile, Kriel admitted that he’s enjoyed his time at Gloucester Rugby and that the club will always hold a special place in his heart.
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“I have genuinely loved it here. It’s an outstanding club with outstanding people and, despite the injuries, I don’t regret a moment of it. I’m just sorry that I couldn’t deliver more out there on the pitch.
“Gloucester Rugby will always mean a lot to me though, and I genuinely wish them all the very best going forwards and will have fond memories of my time as part of the Gloucester family – especially matchdays at Kingsholm, they were special moments.
“Thank you for making me so welcome – I will always appreciate that.”