GLOUCESTER have signed Cardiff Blues' outstanding stand-off Nicky Robinson on a three-year contract.
The 27-year-old, instrumental in Cardiff's charge to the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup, will begin his new career with Gloucester in summer.
With 12 Welsh caps already to his name, Robinson will be an excellent addition to Gloucester's squad and head coach Dean Ryan said: "To be in the market to sign a player of Nicky's quality is a really significant addition to our squad.
"We know from first-hand experience just what an exciting talent he is. He has a proven quality at operating at the highest level in Europe and internationally with Wales and his expertise is something we are delighted to be working with."
Robinson made his senior Cardiff debut at the end of the 2000-1 season and in the following campaign landed 184 points in 24 games. In his first full season, he won a call up to sit on the bench for Wales at Twickenham and in 2003 was the key figure in Wales' under-21 side that won the Six Nations Grand Slam and beat New Zealand.
This season, he has made 17 appearances for the Blues and has scored two tries - one of which came against Gloucester at the Millennium Stadium.
Of his move to Gloucester, Robinson said: "It's obviously been one of the hardest decisions I'll ever have to make in my rugby career. To decide to leave my hometown club; somewhere where I dreamt of playing, and spent a large part of my career was always going to be hard.
"But I wanted to experience playing in a different environment and a different league. I also wanted to test myself and try to improve as a rugby player and as a person, and Gloucester will give me that opportunity.
"I wanted to find out for myself what it is like to play in a different league and train with different players and coaches and change the routine that I have been doing for a number of years now.
"Gloucester have an outstanding squad and when I spoke to head coach Dean Ryan about his plans for the future, his desire and determination to make the club one of the biggest in Europe was exactly what I wanted to hear.
"It's a great opportunity to test myself in a new environment at a club that has consistently challenged at the top of the Guinness Premiership in recent years.
"I'd like to thank the Blues for being very loyal to me throughout my time here; they've really stuck by me when I've had injuries and illnesses."
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
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.
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.