Seru Rabeni, the experienced and versatile Fijian centre and wing, has agreed to join Gloucester on a three-year contract from Leicester.
The 30-year-old Fijian, renowned for his towering physicality, believes he has some of his best rugby ahead of him as he prepares for life at the Guinness Premiership title chasers in a deal that will start in the summer.
"Seru's signing is great news for us, particularly at this point in the season" said Gloucester's Head Coach Dean Ryan.
"He is a player of great quality and physicality who is able to play both in the centre and on the wing - that versatility and familiarity across positions can only strengthen our options."
"His presence within the side will help strengthen our position within Guinness Premiership next season and his expertise and experience playing in knock-out stages will be key going forward."
Rabeni joined Tigers in 2004 and made a significant impact in the double-winning side of 2006/07, scoring five tries in 21 appearances and starting both the Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup finals. In 62 appearances he has scored 90 points for the club.
He also represented Fiji in 2003 World Cup and has also extensive experience with Super 14 side the Highlanders.
In the 2007 World Cup in France, he featured in all of Fiji's matches and was instrumental in the Pool B decider against Wales helping his national side reach the quarterfinals for the second time since 1987.
"I am delighted to be joining Gloucester although it was a very tough decision to make, after five years at Welford Road. The support I have received during this period of time from both the club and fans has been fantastic and I wish Leicester every success in the future."
"It is now time for me to move onto another challenge, and hopefully help Gloucester to lift some silverware, continue the good work and progress the team has so far achieved under Dean Ryan and Bryan Redpath."
"There are some great players at the club and it will be an honour and privilege to work and fight with them in Gloucester's cause."
"I do feel that I have some best years of my rugby left and would like to give everything to Gloucester and help the young players coming through with the experiences that I have gained at Leicester and with Fiji."
"I look forward to playing in the expansive way that Gloucester have looked to express themselves, in the last few seasons."
"I spoke with my fellow Fijian team mates Q [Akapusi Qera] and Apo [Satala], who were very complimentary about the training and coaching set up"
"And after meeting with Dean and Bryan, and understanding how they want to take the club forward and use me to do that, I felt that Gloucester would be a place I would be very happy to play rugby for, and one in which my family would also be happy as well."
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).