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."
As Gloucester prepare for their 39th game of the season, against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday, David Humphreys told the local media that this week has been all about getting the players mentally and physically ready after a tough game against Connacht last Sunday.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-32 victory over Connacht on Sunday, skipper Billy Twelvetrees explained that Gloucester had had to learn to be patient and cut out the errors to earn the win and progress to next weekend's final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
Speaking to the local media this week, front rower John Afoa is familiar with the challenge of Connacht from his time in Belfast, and the World Cup winner is fully aware of the challenge they pose ahead of Sunday's meeting in the Champions Cup play off
Speaking ahead of Gloucester's European Rugby Champions play-off against Connacht on Sunday (Kingsholm, 3:30pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's glad to have more players available than in recent weeks ahead of a tough fixture.
Nick Wood captained the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, and the experienced front rower expressed his pride in the young squad in defeat to Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Lewis Ludlow scored Gloucester's opening try in the 30-50 defeat at Bath on Saturday, part of an impressive performance by the young back row forward. Speaking after the game, he paid tribute to the young Gloucester side who went toe to toe with the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Tongan international forward Sione Kalamafoni returns after injury to take up his usual place in the back row as Gloucester look to finish their season on a high against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday.
Gloucester Rugby is delighted to confirm that 18 year old Mat Protheroe, a product of Hartpury College and one of the brightest young talents in the English game, has signed a senior contract at Kingsholm.