Gloucester bring in Highlanders lock

Date published: November 10 2015

Gloucester have confirmed that second row Joe Latta has agreed to join the club from Super Rugby champions, the Highlanders.

Latta is set to join up with his new team-mates in the next few days, and will arrive after a spell playing for Otago who finished third in this year's ITM Championship in New Zealand.

His signing, combined with the recent arrival of All Black international Jeremy Thrush, will give Gloucester strength in depth at the second row position especially with Argentinian international Mariano Galarza set to return shortly from suspension.

23-year-old Latta made his Super Rugby debut for Highlanders against the Brumbies in April and made a total of five appearances for the Dunedin-based franchise as they lifted the Super Rugby title against Thrush's Hurricanes.

Latta represented the New Zealand U20s in the World Rugby U20 Championship in 2012.

Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the club website that he's pleased to have more options in the boiler room with Joe Batley and James Hudson currently sidelined due to injury.

"Joe is a talented young player who is learning the game, and who has gained some valuable experience in a hugely talented and hard working Highlanders squad that won the Super Rugby title," Humphreys said.

"With Jeremy's arrival at the club, as well as Mariano being back available soon, we will have some real competition for places in the second row with Elliott Stooke, Tom Savage and Tom Hicks. 

"Joe is English qualified which is important, and is looking forward to testing himself in our environment, developing as a player and helping Gloucester move forward."