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Gloucester sign Gerbrandt Grobler

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Gloucester sign 6'7 lock from Munster but he's got some baggage

Gloucester Rugby have confirmed the news that South African lock Gerbrandt Grobler will move to Kingsholm from Munster ahead of the 2018-19 season.

Standing at an imposing 6ft 7in, 25-year-old Grobler has been an impressive operator in recent seasons, having tasted rugby across Europe in the Top 14 with Racing 92, and currently with Munster Rugby in the Guinness Pro 14.

Gloucester describe him as “A totemic lock who has been catching the eye of many admirers during his one season at Thomond Park.”

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However Grobler attracted some controversy in Ireland after a number of media organisations questioned the signing by Munster of a player who has failed drugs tests for anabolic steroid use.

Grobler tested positive for a banned substance during the 2014 Currie Cup tournament in South Africa and was handed down a two year ban for testing positive for the anabolic steriod, Drostanolone.

Grobler did not contest the failed test and took ‘full responsibility for his actions’ at the time. The towering lock Grobler began his career with Western Province before graduating into the Stormers side in Super Rugby.

He then continued his career in Europe with Racing 92, making 20 appearances at the Stade Yves de Manoir, scoring 5 tries, before a switch to the Pro 14 with Munster Rugby.

His experiences across the top rugby leagues in Europe stand Grobler in good stead as he joins the Cherry and Whites, ready to compete for a place in a strong area of the squad.

Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke of the news of Grobler’s arrival at the club.

“Over the past couple of seasons, Gerbrandt has developed into a top quality second row and made a big impression during his time at Racing and Munster Rugby. He will bring the benefit of his experience from those top European clubs to Gloucester and his athleticism and skillset are well suited to Gloucester’s style of play.

“We are excited to add another young, dynamic forward to our squad, and he will add a lot of quality and options to our pack.”

Speaking this week, Grobler spoke of his excitement ahead of his move to the Gallagher Premiership.

“It’s a big competition to come and play in. In South Africa, the English competition is the one that gets aired the most, and gets the most attention, and you get to mix it up with the world’s best from all over.

“The English league gives a huge opportunity to learn, every game is close, a contest until the end. That’s one thing that appeals to me, the opportunity to test yourself week in, week out.

Grobler’s signature is one that had been courted across Europe after his form for Racing 92, and then Munster, but the new Cherry and White speaks with a real buzz about coming to play at Kingsholm Stadium.

“Gloucester are a club that are on the up, and I want to be part of something with the same ambitions and goals as me. I want to be part of something that is building, and spend my future here.

“The thing that excites me about this move, is joining a team with big ambitions to improve, to be consistent and build something really successful with the squad.”

And the prospect of working with Head Coach Johan Ackermann is an exciting one for the second row.

“Working with Johan was a huge part of my decision to come to the club, I had a long talk with him once about life and how you take learnings from things. He proved to me there is hope in life.

“You can get into a dark hole, and he convinced me of a good image, and the way he talks about the way of life, people and this appealed massively to me. I can’t wait to get to work.”

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Gloucester sign 6'7 lock from Munster but he's got some baggage