Planet Rugby

Hook joins Gloucester

03rd June 2014 16:44

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SKY_MOBILE James Hook

Gloucester-bound: James Hook

Wales and ex-Perpignan utility back James Hook has ended speculation over his future by signing for Premiership side, Gloucester.

Though still under contract with the French outfit, a clause in his deal with USAP allowed him to leave following their relegation from the Top 14, sparking rumours over a potential return to the Ospreys, a move to newly-promoted Lyon, or to one of England's top flight.

Though still bereft of a Director of Rugby since parting company with Nigel Davies at the season's end, Gloucester have snapped up Hook - who can slot in at fly-half, centre and full-back - on a three-year deal, bolstering what is swiftly growing into an impressive roster ahead of next season.

Front-row duo John Afoa and Richard Hibbard have already signed up to bolster the pack at Kingsholm, while Scotland's Greig Laidlaw, capable of playing in either half-back position, has also joined the club.

It is believed Laidlaw, initially signed as a replacement for the outgoing pivot Freddie Burns, wishes to play in his international role at scrum-half, opening the door for the 75-times-capped Hook to wear the Cherry and Whites' number ten jersey.

"I would like to thank everyone at Perpignan for the past three years, which have been memorable. It's very disappointing to see the side relegated, but I'm sure they will bounce right back and I sincerely hope they do so," said Hook.

"However, I'm absolutely delighted to be embarking upon the next exciting phase of my career as a Gloucester player.

"I was fortunate to have a number of options, but what stood out for me when I spoke to Stephen Vaughan was how much Gloucester wanted me to be part of their plans. They have huge ambitions and made it clear to me the role they wanted me to play in that.

"The talent in the squad is terrific, the training facilities are top notch and it's a wonderful area for myself and my family to settle in. And I had a taste of the Kingsholm atmosphere last season when I played here for Perpignan. That was phenomenal and I can't wait to experience that again.

"The prospect of playing for Gloucester in the Premiership is massively exciting. It's a new challenge, but one I'm looking forward to hugely. I can't wait to get started."

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