Gloucester have announced the signing of former Bath skipper Matt Garvey on a short-term deal. The experienced forward, who can operate at lock or flanker, will arrive at Kingsholm for the restart of the suspended 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership season with an abundance of knowledge in the game. 

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New head coach George Skivington, who has succeeded Johan Ackermann at a club that has also lost the services of director of rugby David Humphreys and players such as World Cup winner Franco Mostert, said: “We are really happy that Matt has agreed to join Gloucester.

“Matt is a fierce competitor and a true professional, which is exactly the type of player we want in our squad. With his leadership, experience and power, he will be a valuable asset to us for the remainder of the season.”

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RugbyPass brings you Away Days, a look at an afternoon on the Kingsholm terraces in Gloucester

In a statement, Gloucester described Garvey as “possessing great leadership skills having been named club captain at west-country rivals Bath between 2017 and 2019”. He will start training with his new teammates on Monday.

Garvey’s switch to Gloucester sets up the prospect of a round 21 return to The Rec. He said: “I’m really relishing the opportunity to join Gloucester. I know George will be driving the club forward, and I’m really excited to play my part in that in the coming months.”

It was June 5 when Garvey posted an emotional social message after Bath confirmed he was one of 16 players who would be moving on before the resumption of the stalled 2019/20 campaign. 

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“So there you have it, after seven seasons wearing the blue, black and white jersey, it’s time for me to depart. It’s hardly the way I’d like to have finished but not much is really going to plan during this pandemic now, is it? I guess all I can really say, via social media, is thanks.

“Thank you to the supporters who, come rain or shine, have always been there following us and cheering us on. Thank you to all the backroom staff that I’ve had the privilege of working with during my time. So many to mention, but you all know who you are.

“Lastly, thanks to my teammates. A mixed breed of creatures. I wish you all the success lads and hopefully we will get to have a socially distanced beer together soon. Thanks for all your support. Special to mention to Chris Cook and Francois Louw who won’t get the send-off they deserve. Two incredible servants to the club.”

The 32-year-old, who started out with London Irish, moved to Bath for the 2013/14 season but was out of contract having started just twice this term under Stuart Hooper, the director of rugby who took over last summer from Todd Blackadder.

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