Gloucester snap up Highlander

Date published: March 31 2016

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Gloucester have confirmed the signing of tighthead prop Josh Hohneck, who will join the club for the 2016/17 season from the Highlanders.

The Cherry and Whites have moved quickly to secure the services of the 30-year-old, whose signature adds to the group of front-rowers that have impressed in recent seasons under the tutelage of Rugby World Cup winner Trevor Woodman.

Hohneck began his career with Waikato and then Bay of Plenty, before being picked up by Super Rugby franchise the Chiefs before making the move to Dunedin and representing the Highlanders.

He will head to Kingsholm in the prime of his career, and after a call up to the New Zealand Maori's tour of Fiji in 2015.

With an English mother, and therefore English qualified, he is a versatile forward who plays primarily as a tighthead but also offers an option on the loosehead, after beginning his rugby career as a number eight.

Speaking about the signing, director of rugby David Humphreys is delighted to have secured the highly sought-after front-rower.

"We're thrilled that Josh has agreed to join us at Kingsholm, and he will add another quality option to our ranks in the front-row," he said.

"We have spoken a lot in recent months about needing to establish a real platform up front, and the addition of Josh will help us to achieve that. His ability to play both sides of the scrum is a huge advantage but he will also make a big impact with both his ball carrying and defence.

"We are very much looking forward to seeing what Josh can bring to the squad and perform in a Cherry and White jersey."

Meanwhile, Hohneck himself admits he's looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead and adding to the ranks of New Zealanders already at the club.

"It's a very big step for me, and one I'm really looking forward to. I've watched a lot of English rugby, spoken to a lot of people who have played there and I can't wait to get involved," he said.

"I've heard that the Gloucester fans love powerful forward play, and I'm hoping to deliver on that front. Having so many fellow Kiwis at the club will also help me settle in quickly.

"But, for now, I've got the rest of the Super Rugby season ahead of me. I owe a lot to the Highlanders, and I'll be giving everything over the next few months to finish on a high as we try and retain the title."

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