KARL PRYCE, one of the most electrifying and dangerous young talents in rugby league, has joined Gloucester Rugby from Bradford Bulls on a three-year contract.
The 20-year-old played a crucial role in the Bulls' march to the play-offs this season - which ended with a defeat to Hull at the final eliminator stage on Friday evening - scoring 17 tries in just 21 appearances.
At 6'6" and weighing in at 118kg, Pryce joined up with his new team-mates today in a cross-code switch that has been solely initiated and funded by Gloucester Rugby.
"Karl's try-scoring record for Bradford speaks for itself - he has enormous pedigree and will prove a significant addition to the Gloucester squad," head coach Dean Ryan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk.
"We have been watching him for some time and believe that his physical presence will complement our other options in the back line. Rather than bring someone over from rugby league who only has a couple of years remaining at the highest level, in Karl we have a young player who we can work with to develop his skills and make a force in rugby union.
"It's a tremendous endorsement of what we are trying to build here at Gloucester that a player of Karl's potential has decided to switch codes to be a part of it."
Pryce, meanwhile, said: "I'm delighted to be joining Gloucester and can't wait to hit the ground running.
"I've had a wonderful time at Bradford and want to thank everyone involved with the club, including an amazing set of supporters, for some fantastic memories. We've had another good season, but when the opportunity arose to try a different code and challenge myself in new arenas, it proved to strong to resist.
"I took advice from a number of people closest to me and without exception they said that Gloucester was the right club to be at. They have a fantastic set-up, excellent training facilities and quality coaches who I know I will learn from.
"Dean has high ambitions for the squad and I am determined to play a big role in realising them."
Speaking after the 37-8 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Benetton Treviso, James Hook admitted that the Italian side made things tough for Gloucester at times but that the Cherry and Whites are happy to take the bonus point win and turn their focus to Northampton next week.
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.