Heinz in the can for Gloucester

Date published: February 24 2015

Gloucester have announced the signing of scrum-half Willi Heinz, who will join the Premiership side from the Crusaders ahead of next season.

The 28-year-old will link up with Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw and Callum Braley as half-back options for the Cherry and Whites in 2015/16.

Heinz has captained Canterbury in the ITM Cup, represented the Crusaders more than 50 times in Super Rugby, and was a crowd favourite.

And his signing is a very important one, according to Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys.

"Scrum-half is a key position in any side and, with Dan Robson choosing to move on at the end of the season, we wanted to add some experience and strength in depth to our half-backs," he said.

"We already have two quality number nines in Greig Laidlaw, the current Scotland captain, and Callum Braley, who we believe will develop into an International scrum half. Adding Willi to the mix will give us another option and someone who brings experience and leadership qualities to our young playing group.

"And that's going to be more important than ever next season with World Cup commitments and the nature of the domestic and European fixture calendar once that tournament is over.

"Willi has been a stand out performer in a Canterbury side that hasn't finished any lower than fourth in Super Rugby since 2001. His experience of playing in that competition, for such a successful franchise will be a very welcome addition to our squad.

"We've been speaking to him for quite some time now and I know that he's genuinely excited to be joining us. I think he's going to play a very key role over the next few years, not just in terms of how he plays but how he brings the best out of the people around him."