Transfer News: Gloucester confirm the signing of Springbok forward - Ruck

Transfer News: Gloucester confirm the signing of Springbok forward

Gloucester has confirmed the signing of Springbok star Jaco Kriel, who will link up with the Cherry and Whites from the Emirates Lions ahead of the 2018-19 season.

One of the stars of South African rugby, the back-row star captained the Lions side to the Super Rugby final in 2017, where they narrowly lost to the Crusaders.

Kriel made his debut for South Africa in 2016 against Ireland, before starring in the summer series in 2017 where France were soundly beaten 3-0.

An all-action player with a remarkable work rate around the pitch, Kriel combines hard hitting in defence, with pace and superb hands in attack and will add test match experience to an exciting back row unit at the club, as well as leadership to a developing Gloucester side.

Kriel was club captain at the Emirates Lions and, during his time wearing the armband, the back rower lifted the Currie Cup with the Golden Lions team, on top of leading the Lions to back-to-back Super Rugby finals.

The 28-year-old will arrive at the club, and be reunited with Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Johan Ackermann ahead of the 2018 preseason in July, after recovering from a shoulder injury that saw him miss out on the current Super Rugby season.

Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke of his excitement in welcoming Kriel to the club, in an area of the squad which is becoming one of real strength and depth for the club.

“Jaco’s record in his career so far speaks for itself, and he is a player that Johan rates very highly. He will understand immediately what Johan expects from his players, and the style of play that we are trying to promote.

“Jaco was one of the leading players for the Lions during their development as a squad, and their drive to two Super Rugby finals, and has also been a real star in the Springbok jersey.

“At the club, we have some really exciting young players, especially in our back row forward area, and Jaco’s arrival will provide us with more world class quality in that position, especially with the pressures put on the squad as we take on Champions Cup rigby next season.

“He has been frustrated to miss out this season with a shoulder injury however, he has already met with all of our backroom team at Hartpury College, and he will be fit and firing come the start of the new season.”