Gloucester Rugby are pleased to confirm that Fijian dual-code international Semi Tadulala has joined the club until the end of the season.
The 31-year-old winger, who was capped by Fiji against Romania in November, has successfully obtained his rugby union work permit and is in line for his debut Gloucester 1st XV appearance against Worcester in the LV= Cup this weekend.
Born in Fiji but brought up in Australia, Tadulala first came to prominence representing Fiji in the 2000 Rugby League World Cup before joining Melbourne Storm where he stayed for three seasons.
He then moved to the UK to join the Wakefield Trinity Wildcats where he scored 35 tries in 85 appearances before signing for Bradford Bulls in September 2007. He scored eight tries, including two hat-tricks, for the Bulls in his first eight games, and finished both the 2008 and 2009 seasons as the club's leading try scorer.
Tadulala has been training with Gloucester for some weeks now, but his appearances for Gloucester have been restricted to a couple of A League outings whilst his work permit issues were resolved.
"We're really pleased that Semi can now be properly registered with the RFU and is eligible for selection," said Gloucester Head Coach, Bryan Redpath.
"He had an impressive try-scoring record in League, and it's now up to us and Semi to see if we can transfer some of those skills to the 15-a-side game. He's been training really hard with us and is a positive influence to have around the group, so we look forward to getting him involved."
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).