Aviva Premiership: Gloucester announce signing of Leeds Carnegie captain Jacob Rowan
Last Updated: 22/05/14 12:27pm
Gloucester have announced the signing of back-rower Jacob Rowan from Leeds Carnegie.
The 24-year-old captained Leeds to a third-place finish in the Greene King IPA Championship, but they missed out on promotion after losing to London Welsh in the play-offs.
Rowan became the youngest-ever captain of Leeds when he was appointed in 2012, while he also skippered England Under-20s in the 2010 Junior World Championship in Argentina, leading a team that featured current Gloucester players Jonny May and Shaun Knight.
The Keighley native is the latest in a line of experienced players moving to Kingsholm this summer, with former All Black John Afoa, Argentina lock Mariano Galarza, Wales hooker Richard Hibbard and Scotland half-back Greig Laidlaw all joining the Aviva Premiership side.
Rowan's team-mate at Leeds, full-back Stevie McColl, will also make the switch to Gloucester, who are currently searching for a new director of rugby after sacking Nigel Davies earlier this month.
Rowan admitted that it would be a wrench to leave the club where he's spent his entire playing career to date, but that the time is right for a new challenge.
I'm at the stage of my career where I want to really test myself at the highest level on a consistent basis. When I heard that Gloucester were interested in me, it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
"It's going to be strange,” he said. “I've been at Leeds since I was 14 years old, nearly 10 years now. I've made a lot of good friends here and it'll feel odd to move on.
"But I'm at the stage of my career where I want to really test myself at the highest level on a consistent basis. When I heard that Gloucester were interested in me, it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
"I'm really looking forward to getting down there and getting stuck into pre-season. It's a great club, a fine stadium and the team enjoys superb support.
“The squad is looking really good for next season and I'm looking forward to being a part of it.”
Rowan will make his last appearance for Leeds in Friday’s British and Irish Cup final against Leinster ‘A’, and he admits it would be great to sign off with some silverware.
"We were obviously devastated to lose at London Welsh in the play-offs last Sunday,” he said.
“It's been a really good season overall, and that was a blow but we at least have the chance to finish on a high in Dublin.
"It's a massive game and we've been really focused in training this week. To round off my Leeds career by helping the side to lift the trophy would be a great way to finish.”