Gloucester bolster front-row stocks

Date published: January 10 2017

Gloucester announced that prop Fraser Balmain will move to Kingsholm from Leicester Tigers ahead of next season.

A former Young Player of the Year with Leicester, the 25-year old Newcastle-born tighthead has agreed to join Gloucester following a six-year stint at Welford Road.

Balmain arrived in the East Midlands after starting his career in the Newcastle Falcons Academy and has gone on to make 86 competitive appearances for the Tigers to date, winning a Premiership title in this time.

Gloucester have moved quickly to add Balmain to their squad to add strength in depth to their front row resources as the Cherry and Whites continue to build with next season in mind.

In addition to a number of the current squad agreeing new contracts, Balmain’s signature is the second external signing announced to date following the news that back rower Carl Fearns is to join Gloucester from Lyon.

Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the Gloucester website of his delight at capturing an experienced player who knows what it takes to compete at the top level.

“We are delighted that Fraser has agreed to join Gloucester after a long time with Leicester,” Humphreys said.

“For a player who is still relatively young for a front row forward, he has gained a lot of Premiership and European experience at Leicester and we are excited to see what he has to offer in a Gloucester shirt.

“Fraser is a young, English qualified talent, who has his best years as a prop ahead of him and we’re very much looking forward to him joining us at the end of the season.”

Balmain himself confirmed that he feels that Gloucester is the right place for him to embrace a new challenge in his career.

“Gloucester is a big club steeped in tradition. I’m looking forward to working with the players and coaches to achieve future success.

“I’ve loved every minute of my time at Leicester, learning a lot and making some life long memories along the way and it’s certainly not done yet.

“However, I think it is the right time for a fresh challenge and am looking forward to joining the Cherry and Whites next season in what is an exciting chapter for the club.”

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