Gloucester Rugby have moved to boost their depleted forward resources with the signing of former skipper and Kingsholm favourite Jake Boer on a short term contract.
Missing several first team regulars due to injury at present, Gloucester needed to bring in back row help and have turned to their former captain.
Head Coach Bryan Redpath confirmed today:
"It's no secret that we've had a rough time of it in recent weeks because of injuries and are missing quite a few players."
"We need someone to come in and do a job for us and we could think of no-one better than Jake. He's been playing in South Africa so is in great physical condition and is raring to go."
"He's well known to a lot of us at the club and loves Gloucester and he's potentially going to be a very valuable asset."
Boer, who joined Gloucester in 2000, captained Gloucester between 2002 and 2004 and led the side to victory in the Powergen Cup in 2003.
He was named the Zurich Premiership Player of the Season award in 2003, as well as the Overseas Player of the Year.
He signed off his spell at Kingsholm at the end of the 2006-7 season to return home to South Africa to join Western Province and to pursue business interests having made more than 180 appearances for Gloucester.
At the time of his departure he said:
"It has been an honour and a privilege to have played at such a great club and I would like to think that people will remember me as someone who was able to contribute in anyway to a great club."
Capable of playing in all spots in the back row, he is a line-out option, ball carrier and is always at the top end of the tackle count.
He has been registered for European action and is therefore eligible for this weekend's Heineken Cup fixture against Biarritz.
Date of birth: 1st Nov 1975
Birthplace: Cape Town, S Africa
Height: 1.88 m (6' 2")
Weight: 108 kg (17 st 0 lb)
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).