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."
The West Country Challenge Cup fixture against the Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium in Bristol on Saturday (kick off 3pm) will be Gloucester's last chance to work on things like new combinations says Director of Rugby, David Humphreys.
Speaking after the 30-21 West Country Challenge Cup defeat at Bath, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke of the improvements his team are making as preseason progresses but acknowledges that there is still work to do ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership.
Speaking to the local media ahead of Saturday's trip to Bath Rugby in the West Country Challenge Cup, front rower Nick Wood spoke of the hard work put in across the extended preseason and highlighted the competition for front row spots in the squad.
Gloucester have named a 30 man squad for the latest round of West Country Challenge Cup action against Bath on Saturday, with Director of Rugby David Humphreys stressing the need to keep an eye on player workload ahead of what will be a long, tough season.
Describing the 50-7 West Country Challenge Cup win over Bath on Sunday as a '...good hit out...', wing Charlie Sharples admitted that it had been a good opportunity to put into practice things that the squad have been trying out in training in recent weeks.
Speaking to the local media after the 50-7 victory over Bath Rugby on Sunday, David Humphreys was happy with his squad's effort, with the most important aspect being the game time earned by his players.
Gloucester make wholesale changes to the side that started at Exeter last Saturday as they prepare to take on Bath at the Memorial Stadium, Bristol on Sunday in the West Country Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm). The Director of Rugby told GRTV that the players are raring to go and that he's looking forward to seeing different combinations in action.
Speaking ahead of the West Country Challenge Cup meeting with Bath Rugby this Sunday, front rower Paddy McAllister explained how he was looking forward to running out in Cherry and White after a preseason packed full of hard work.
A late penalty from Exeter fly-half Will Hooley gave the Chiefs a narrow 33-31 West Country Challenge Cup win over a heroic Gloucester outfit in a bruising encounter at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Gloucester Rugby will play their fourth and final West Country Challenge Cup fixture this weekend (Memorial Stadium, Bristol, 3pm) against the Exeter Chiefs, and have named a side featuring a host of first regulars.
On Wednesday evening, Gloucester Rugby duo Mark Atkinson and Tom Savage visited local rugby club Hardwicke and Quedgeley Harlequins RFC for the first session as part of the Gloucester Rugby in Local Clubs coaching initiative.