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."
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
Speaking to the local media after the 35-22 loss at Wasps, lock Tom Savage spoke of his disappointment at the result, with Gloucester left to rue a number of missed opportunities against a clinical home side.
Speaking after his return from England duty, Gloucester winger Jonny May reflected on England winning the Six Nations Championship, if not the Grand Slam, and what he needs to focus on to get back into the starting line-up.
Ross Moriarty started for Wales at the Stade de France on Saturday while Matt Scott was a replacement for Scotland. It was Scott who finished the day the happier, a try-scorer in a 29-0 victory over Italy.