RUGBY: Veteran Tongan hooker Lutui comes to Kingsholm

Gloucester Rugby

Gloucester Rugby

First published in Sport

GLOUCESTER Rugby's recruitment drive continues apace with the signing of experienced Tongan hooker Aleki Lutui.

The 35-year-old spent last season at Edinburgh Rugby, having spent seven campaigns with Worcester Warriors.

He joins fellow Tongans Sione Kalamafoni and Sila Puafisi in the squad at Kingsholm.

Lutui has played 33 times for his country including at two World Cups.

The former police officer is a powerful ball carrier will provide essential competition for places strength alongside the other hookers on the books, Darren Dawidiuk and new arrival Richard Hibbard.

Lutui said: "I know a lot about Gloucester having faced them several times in my Worcester days. It's a great club and I always enjoyed playing against them.

"I was also in the Edinburgh side that played Gloucester at Murrayfield last season, and the support that the away fans gave the team made a real impression on me. To have those supporters shouting for me is something I cannot wait for.

"To be representing a club with the history such as Gloucester will be an honour, as will linking up with my fellow countrymen, Sila and Sione.

"I look forward to working with all the front row players, Darren and Richard in particular, and helping to form a strong unit up front. It's going to be an exciting season.”

FOUR members of the England U20s squad which won their second successive Junior World Championship title on Friday will be on the books of Gloucester rugby next season.

Fly half Billy Burns, who kicked eight points in the 21-20 victory over South Africa at Eden Park, Auckland, has just signed a new deal to stay at Kingsholm where Ross Moriarty, who played a starring role in the World Cup final, is already on the books and almost ready to break into the first team.

Meanwhile, scrum half Callum Braley and speedy winger Henry Purdy, who were on the replacements bench in Auckland, switch from Bristol Rugby and Leicester Tigers respectively.

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