James Hook joins Gloucester
June 3, 2014
Perpignan's relegation from Top 14 triggered a release clause in James Hook's contract © Getty Images
Gloucester have announced the signing of James Hook as the rebuilding at Kingsholm continues apace.
Hook, capped 75 times by Wales, can play in a number of positions in the back line and will join fellow new recruits Richard Hibbard, Tom Palmer, Greig Laidlaw and John Afoa after Wales's two-Test tour of South Africa.
Perpignan's relegation from Top 14 triggered a release clause in the 28-year-old's contract, prompting Gloucester to act. The Premiership side had hoped to announce the former Ospreys man's arrival on a three-year deal sooner, but were held up by paperwork delays following his release from the Catalan club.
Gloucester CEO Stephen Vaughan, still searching for a director of rugby after firing Nigel Davies last month, had brought in Laidlaw as a potential replacement for Leicester-bound Freddie Burns, but the Scotland captain is keen to continue playing at scrum-half, leaving Hook to make his mark at No 10.
"I would like to thank everyone at Perpignan for the past three years, which have been memorable," Hook told Gloucester's official website. "It's very disappointing to see the side relegated, but I'm sure they will bounce right back and I sincerely hope they do so.
"However, I'm absolutely delighted to be embarking upon the next exciting phase of my career as a Gloucester Rugby player.
"I was fortunate to have a number of options, but what stood out for me when I spoke to Stephen Vaughan was how much Gloucester wanted me to be part of their plans. They have huge ambitions and made it clear to me the role they wanted me to play in that.
"The talent in the squad is terrific, the training facilities are top notch and it's a wonderful area for myself and my family to settle in. And I had a taste of the Kingsholm atmosphere last season when I played here for Perpignan. That was phenomenal and I can't wait to experience that again.
"The prospect of playing for Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership is massively exciting. It's a new challenge, but one I'm looking forward to hugely. I can't wait to get started."
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