Gloucester Rugby can confirm the departure of six players ahead of next season and would like to thank each individual for their commitment to the Cherry and White shirt during their time at the club.
Chief Operating Officer, Alex Brown, sent his well wishes to those moving on.
“We’re truly grateful for every player that pulls on the famous Cherry & White jersey for their contribution to our Club.
“Each player that is moving on this season has contributed to the journey we are on as a group, both on and off the field, and we wish them the very best for the future.”
Matt Banahan moved to Gloucester Rugby from local rivals, Bath, in the summer of 2018 and his experience and quality has been a vital cog in the Cherry and White’s squad in his three years at Kingsholm.
With the ability to play across the backline, in recent seasons Banahan has acted as a mentor to the younger members of the squad and he has passed the baton to the likes of Louis Rees-Zammit and Ollie Thorley who will no doubt have learnt a lot from the former England international.
Tom Hudson joined Gloucester Rugby ahead of the 2016-17 season from Leicester Tigers. 2017-18 was a real breakthrough season for the fullback, as he made 13 first team appearances, scoring three tries and finished with him signing a new contract in May 2018.
Most recently, Hudson, 26, has spent time on loan at Ampthill during the 2019-20 season, and his contract at Kingsholm has now come to an end.
We'd like to place on record our thanks to Tom for his contribution in Cherry & White.
Another experienced operator, Matt Garvey’s commitment to the Gloucester Rugby squad has been unrivalled.
Garvey initially joined the Cherry & Whites on a short-term deal following the suspension of the 2019-20 season. After a string of impressive performances, Garvey signed a new Gloucester Rugby until the conclusion of the 2020-21 season. Matt has been a true professional and we wish him the very best for the future.
A Gloucester Rugby fans' favourite, Willi Heinz has been a vital operator in recent years.
Heinz, 34, initially joined the Cherry & Whites ahead of the 2015-16 season and has since developed into a fully-fledged England international. The scrum-half was selected for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan, only missing out on a place in the final to injury.
Over his 6 years at Kingsholm, Heinz has made 100 appearances for the Club, marking his 100th against London Irish a few weeks ago.
Heinz will join local rivals Worcester Warriors ahead of next season and we will look forward to welcoming him to Kingsholm again soon.
Although only brief, Ollie Atkins’ time at Gloucester Rugby will be remembered by many inside the Cherry & White circle. The Australian second row has brought energy and enthusiasm to every training session, and has been a true professional in helping prepare the team even when not involved in the match day 23.
A Premiership veteran, Jamie Gibson has passed on some of his vast knowledge of competing in the top flight of English rugby and after a year with the Cherry and Whites, his contract has come to an end.
The former England forward arrived at Kingsholm with over 180 Premiership appearances under his belt, and went on to make 7 appearances in Cherry & White.
Everyone at Gloucester Rugby would like to thank him for his efforts and wish his well for the future.