Val Rapava Ruskin has signed for Gloucester from Worcester and will join the club at the end of the season.
Gloucester announced the signing of Fraser Balmain on Tuesday monrning and have now secured the services of two of the most highly rated young props in the Premiership.
Rapava Ruskin arrived in the UK when he was two years old. He grew up in London and began his rugby odyssey with Blackheath before joining Western Province’s U19 squad.
He was capped by Georgia U19s and then had stints with Saracens and Toulon before moving to Sixways ahead of the 2014-15 season, playing a big part in their promotion back to the Premiership.
Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted to the club website that Rapava Ruskin’s signing is a big statement of intent for Gloucester.
“To build a successful team at the highest level a strong set-piece is crucial and, with Val joining us next season, we believe we’ve signed one of the most dominant young front row forwards in the game,” Humphreys said.
“Together with the signing of Fraser Balmain, we have recruited two players who we believe will give us really competitive options across the front row over the next few seasons.
“Throughout our discussions, Val has made no secret of his desire to play international rugby for England but knows that success in a Gloucester shirt is the key to achieving his ambition.
“We’ve already experienced first-hand in games this season against Worcester what a handful Val can be in both the set-piece and general play, and I’m delighted we’re adding another quality player to the Gloucester squad for next season.”
Meanwhile, Rapava Ruskin is hoping to become the latest in a long line of celebrated front row forwards to play at Kingsholm in the Cherry and White of Gloucester.
“It’s a huge honour and opportunity for me to sign for Gloucester. I know what a tradition the club has of producing strong forward packs and I’m looking forward to being part of an exciting group.
“I’m determined to work hard and help Gloucester to achieve their goal of winning titles again, whilst hopefully achieving my goals of playing international rugby.
“I’ve really enjoyed my time at Worcester and appreciate everything the club has done for me. I wish them all the best for the future and will give my all until the end of the season.”