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."
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
After a series of contract announcements last week, hooker Richard Hibbard is the latest Gloucester Rugby player to commit to a new contract at the club and told GRTV how much he enjoys playing in the Cherry and White of Gloucester.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.