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."
Speaking to the local media this week ahead of the Bath Rugby game, Head Coach Laurie Fisher stressed that the fundamental shape of Gloucester's game is in good shape but that the Cherry and Whites have to look after the ball better and make more of their scoring opportunities.
Skipper for the day Willi Heinz faced the cameras after the 13-18 home loss to Newcastle and expressed real frustration at not being able to back up last week's win at Sale, calling it a performance he and his team-mates are not proud of.
Speaking after the game, Charlie Sharples described it as 'the win that has eluded us.' The winger stressed that Gloucester had stayed positive after the first couple of weeks of the Aviva Premiership season and the 26-13 victory over Sale was a result of that focus.
Gloucester Rugby picked up their first win of the new Aviva Premiership season on Friday night, easing to a 26-13 win on the road at Sale Sharks. Director of Rugby David Humphreys was full of praise for his players on the night.
It's a game of small margins at the highest level, and so it proved to be at Kingsholm on Saturday afternoon as two second-half Bath tries earned a 6-15 victory from a game which Gloucester had dominated for long periods.
Greig Laidlaw is back to skipper Gloucester Rugby in Saturday's Aviva Premiership derby game against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm. James Hook will make his first start of the season at full-back and Billy Twelvetrees will make his 100th competitive appearance for the club.