Gloucester Rugby can today confirm the signing of experienced Tongan hooker Aleki Lutui from Edinburgh Rugby.
The 35 year old, who spent last season at Edinburgh Rugby, has put pen to paper on a deal that brings him to Kingsholm as the Cherry and Whites continue to build their squad ahead of the 2014-15 season.
Lutui joined Edinburgh in April 2013 following seven seasons and 168 appearances for Worcester Warriors, a club he joined in 2006 from the Chiefs in Super Rugby.
He joins fellow Tongans Sione Kalamafoni and Sila Puafisi in the Gloucester Rugby squad, and the experience gained from representing his country 33 times and playing in two Rugby World Cups will be vital to Gloucester.
The former police officer is a powerful ball carrier known for his work rate and consistency, and will provide essential strength in depth amongst the Gloucester Rugby hookers alongside Darren Dawidiuk and new arrival Richard Hibbard.
Lutui is looking forward to the prospect of joining up with his new team mates when they return for pre-season training in late June, as he told the club website.
"I know a lot about Gloucester having faced them several times in my Worcester days. It's a great club and I always enjoyed playing against them.
"I was also in the Edinburgh side that played Gloucester at Murrayfield last season, and the support that the away fans gave the team made a real impression on me. To have those supporters shouting for me is something I cannot wait for.
"To be representing a club with the history such as Gloucester will be an honour, as will linking up with my fellow countrymen, Sila and Sione.
"I look forward to working with all the front row players, Darren and Richard in particular, and helping to form a strong unit up front. It's going to be an exciting season."
Gloucester look to build upon the local derby win over Bath last weekend with Harlequins the visitors to Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 3pm). Director of Rugby David Humphreys is expecting a close game with the two teams well matched, although it may not be a 78 point thriller like the last time the two teams met.
Named Man of the Match by BT Sport, scrum-half Willi Heinz said after the 15-11 win at Bath on Friday evening that it was a pretty happy Gloucester dressing room and reward for a lot of hard work put in during the week leading up to the game.
Speaking after the 15-11 win over Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, David Humphreys heaped praise on his players, pointing out how they had bounced back after last week's tough defeat to overcome a rough start before controlling the game and earning the win.
Gloucester Rugby hooker Richard Hibbard spoke to the local media this week as the Cherry and Whites prepare to face Bath Rugby in the Aviva Premiership. The Welshman is ready to bounce back at The Rec.
Speaking to the local media about the local derby against Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys acknowledged that it will be a tough encounter but hugely exciting at the same time and one the squad are looking forward to.
A visibly disappointed Billy Twelvetrees admitted that it was a very sombre Gloucester dressing room as a last minute try and conversion condemned the Cherry and Whites to an 18-19 defeat against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
A disappointed Tom Savage told GRTV, after the 18-19 defeat at home to the Leicester Tigers, that the whole Gloucester team had put in a fantastic effort, but just couldn't find the extra one or two percent necessary to put away a top side.
Speaking after the narrow loss to Leicester Tigers on Saturday afternoon, David Humphreys says despite there being a lot of good in Gloucester's performance, he rued the failure to close the game out, as well as thanking the home support
After a disappointing opening weekend loss to their Scottish counterparts, England U20s will be eager to bounce back in Italy this evening, with Gloucester flyer Mat Protheroe set to pull the strings from fly half.
Gloucester Rugby make just the one change to the starting line up that won at Bath last Friday evening, flanker Matt Kvesic restored to the starting XV as the Cherry and Whites welcome Harlequins to Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick off 3pm).
The Early Bird deadline for ticket purchases for the Aviva Premiership fixture against Harlequins on Saturday will expire at 6:30pm on Thursday evening, with tickets already limited for one area of Kingsholm.