Alasdair Strokosch has switched to Kingsholm with Alasdair Dickinson
GLOUCESTER RUGBY are delighted to announce the signing of two of Scottish rugby's brightest forward prospects.
Alasdair Dickinson and Alasdair Strokosch, who both featured for Edinburgh against Gloucester in the Heineken Cup earlier this season, have signed one-year deals and will join up with their new team-mates in the summer.
They follow in the footsteps of Scotland scrum-half Rory Lawson, who has made a tremendous impact at Kingsholm since making the switch at the start of the current season.
Strokosch, a 6ft 3in flanker, won his first senior international call-up for Scotland against Australia in the autumn internationals, and was this week added to the training squad for Saturday's Six Nations encounter with Ireland.
The 24-year-old is renowned as one of the hardest tacklers in the Magners League and has featured prominently on the blindside this season for Edinburgh.
"I had really good discussions with their coaching staff and was impressed by the facilities and the positive feeling at the place - I'm certain that moving to Gloucester will be good for my game."
Meanwhile Dickinson, 23, a dynamic prop who favours the loosehead side, has been capped by Scotland at every level up to A-international.
"I know from first-hand experience how strong a Gloucester forward pack can be, and it will be a real challenge to force my way into contention next season," Dickinson said.
"Once I spoke to the coaches I was in no doubt that if I want to reach the highest levels then Gloucester offers the tough environment that can help me to achieve my goals."
Gloucester's head coach Dean Ryan added: "We are careful who we want to attract but feel both of these players will add tremendously to the pool of talent we already have available.
"They played against us in the Heineken Cup this season and impressed us greatly. We are attempting to build a young, talented and competitive squad, and both of these players typify what we are looking for.
"The timing is now right for both the club and the players to release this information."
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
Gloucester Rugby qualified for their first European final since 2006 as they defeated the in-form Exeter Chiefs by 30 points to 19 in a thrilling semi-final at Kingsholm on Saturday evening. The club photographer caught the best of the action.
Recent meetings between these two teams have often been thrillers, and this was no exception. It went down to the final few minutes, but Gloucester produced the goods when it mattered to qualify for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, beating Exeter 30-19.
Supporters who are still to purchase tickets for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm) are reminded that Early Bird prices are only valid until 6:30pm on Thursday evening.