Gloucester sign props Fraser Balmain and Val Rapava Ruskin
Last Updated: 10/01/17 2:42pm
Gloucester have continued their recruitment for next season with the signing of props Fraser Balmain and Val Rapava Ruskin.
Balmain has agreed to join the Cherry and Whites following a six-year stint at Leicester, where he made 86 appearances and won the Aviva Premiership title in 2013.
Georgia-born Rapava Ruskin, described as "one of the most dominant young front-row forwards in the game" by Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys, will arrive from Worcester in the summer.
Humphreys said: "To build a successful team at the highest level a strong set-piece is crucial and, with Val joining us next season, we believe we've signed one of the most dominant young front row forwards in the game.
"Together with the signing of Fraser Balmain, we have recruited two players who we believe will give us really competitive options across the front row over the next few seasons."
Balmain said: "Gloucester is a big club steeped in tradition. I'm looking forward to working with the players and coaches to achieve future success.
"I've loved every minute of my time at Leicester, learning a lot and making some life long memories along the way and it's certainly not done yet. However, I think it is the right time for a fresh challenge."
Rapava Ruskin, whose international ambitions lie with England rather than Gerogia, said: "It's a huge honour and opportunity for me to sign for Gloucester Rugby. I know what a tradition the club has of producing strong forward packs and I'm looking forward to being part of an exciting group.
"I'm determined to work hard and help Gloucester to achieve their goal of winning titles again, whilst hopefully achieving my goals of playing international rugby."
In addition to a number of the current squad agreeing new contracts, the new arrivals are Gloucester's second and third external signings with Carl Fearns also joining from Lyon in the summer.