Gloucester have confirmed that Australian centre Bill Meakes has been released from his contract with the club to take up an opportunity to play Super Rugby.
The 25-year-old centre has provided one of the most memorable storylines in recent times. From playing for Clifton in early 2014, he received a call up to train with Gloucester and promptly earned a debut as a replacement in an LV= Cup fixture.
Subsequent performances led to him being offered a full contract, and he marked his first full season with the club by being a part of the side that lifted the Challenge Cup.
He went on to make 45 appearances in the Cherry and White shirt, scoring seven tries, including a memorable, last-gasp effort against Connacht which kept Gloucester’s qualification European hopes alive during that trophy-winning campaign.
However, the opportunity has now risen for him to play Super Rugby in his home country and it’s an opportunity that he couldn’t turn down.
“It’s been an incredible couple of years really,” Meakes said.
“One minute I was just training with Gloucester, then I was named as a replacement and making my first appearance. And then I went on to win a European medal with the boys, it’s been awesome.
“I’ll always be grateful to the club for giving me the chance to show what I could do at this level. I’ve also made some great mates, they’ll be friends for life. And what can I say about the Gloucester supporters? They’ve been absolutely immense, their backing has been amazing.
“But the chance to play Super Rugby is a fantastic one, one that I couldn’t refuse and huge thanks to Gloucester for letting me pursue this. I’ll be sad to go, but Gloucester and Kingsholm will always be special to me.
“I’d like to wish all the players and coaches all the very best for the forthcoming season and I’ll be streaming the games every week to keep in touch with how they’re doing.”