South African Gerbrandt Grobler is the latest player to leave Gloucester in the wake of the managerial upheaval that has seen head coach Johan Ackermann and director of rugby David Humphreys depart the 2019 Gallagher Premiership semi-finalists. 

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Fresh from the recent confirmation that London Irish assistant George Skivington will fill the vacancy left by Ackermann, Gloucester confirmed on June 26 that eight players were departing the club. 

They included out-half Owen Williams, veteran full-back Tom Marshall, lock Franco Mostert and hooker Franco Marais, who were all set for moves to Japan – three of them to Ackermann’s new club, NTT Docomo. Also listed for departure were Ruan Dreyer, Benetton-bound Callum Braley, Exeter signing Aaron Hinkley and Ealing recruit Simon Linsell.

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However, it has now emerged in France that Grobler, the 28-year-old who came to England in summer 2018 after a year-long stint with Irish club Munster, has joined Stade Francais, the Parisian club trying to rebuild under new boss Gonzalo Quesada.

It was reported on Monday that the Top 14 strugglers would be signing Leicester outcast Telusa Veainu, the Tongan who walked away from Welford Road due to the salary cut controversy. He was said to have agreed on a two-year deal just a week after Stade had announced the arrivals of Argentine second row/back row Marcos Kremer and Georgian prop Vasil Kakovin. 

The Veainu deal was confirmed on Tuesday by Stade and it also emerged that Grobler is joining following two years at Gloucester. He will sign for two seasons after the club was linked with a number of other lock players.  

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The second row is no stranger to the rugby scene in Paris as it was at Racing 92 in 2016 that he resurrected his career following a two-year ban after testing positive for the banned steroid drostanolone while attached to the Stormers in his native South Africa.

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