Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw will leave Gloucester Rugby at the end of the season to take up a three-year deal with Clermont Auvergne.
The announcement comes as a boost for Clermont but leaves Gloucester with a sizeable void to fill ahead of next season.
Having joined Gloucester from Edinburgh in 2014, he settled into life immediately at Kingsholm and was handed the club’s captaincy for this term.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at Gloucester. It’s a fantastic club which enjoys tremendous support. The squad contains a great group of boys, I love playing at Kingsholm and it’s been a genuine honour to captain the side,” Laidlaw, who has 53 caps for Scotland, said.
“Since I first moved south, I feel that my game has developed tremendously for playing in the Gloucester team in the Aviva Premiership and it’s a period of my career that I’ll always look back on fondly.
He added of his move to Clermont: “[I am] very happy to join such a club that has an incredible history, has sports facilities that are among the best in the world and have many world-class players.”
Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to Laidlaw, saying: “Since all the changes at Gloucester ahead of the 2014-15 season, his consistent performances at both club and international level, particularly his goal-kicking, have caught the attention of some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
“While we are sorry to see him go, the offer Greig received from France was too good to turn down and, at the end of the season, we will wish him all the best for the rest of his career.
“For now, however, Greig will want to play a key role in helping us to turn our Aviva Premiership season around and help Gloucester finish the year on a high.”
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Laidlaw to leave Gloucester for Clermont
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