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Gloucester statement: Zach Mercer joins from Montpellier

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Action Foto Sport/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Zach Mercer has put himself in the shop window for England selection for the 2023 World Cup finals in France after Gloucester officially confirmed that the Montpellier No8 has signed for them for the 2023/24 Gallagher Premiership season. The deal will allow the ex-Bath back-rower to come in for England selection consideration from next June onwards, just in time for Jones’ squad preparations for the tournament.      

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A club statement read: “After much speculation, Gloucester Rugby is pleased to confirm the signing of Zach Mercer ahead of the 2023/24 season. The Leeds-born No8 is currently plying his trade in Montpellier, having signed for the Top 14 side in 2021 after five years with Bath Rugby. 

“With two England caps to his name – as well as 17 for England U20, including ten as captain – Mercer has made a lasting impression in France over the past twelve months. He helped secure Montpellier’s maiden Top 14 title, contributing to three first-half tries (including crossing the whitewash himself) in a man-of-the-match performance hailed by rugby fans and media alike.

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“Nominated for World Rugby junior player of the year in 2017, the 25-year-old received his first call-up to the senior England team in the same year, going on to secure his debut Test cap against Japan in the 2018 autumn internationals.”

Mercer said: “To be given the opportunity to come back and play in the Premiership with Gloucester is one that I couldn’t turn down. The loyal fans and atmosphere at Kingsholm is something I can’t wait to be part of.  

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“Alex Brown, George Skivington and the whole coaching group are building a strong team and a great environment on the field, and I believe I can add a lot of value. I can’t wait to wear the jersey in front of The Shed and be part of Gloucester’s future. I have another season here with Montpellier and I’ll be giving all my focus to the club to try to secure back-to-back titles and European cup success.”

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Gloucester Rugby head coach Skivington added: “We’re building a solid group at the club with very little movement in or out, so to have secured Zach for next season is a testament to the player he is both on and off the field.  

“His performances for Bath and Montpellier are evidence enough of his capabilities. He has a top-class work rate, outstanding ball-carrying skills and is solid in defence. He will undoubtedly bring a further dimension to add to our current back row. We have got a big season coming up, which will remain our sole focus; it’s great to have such a talent coming in to compliment the set-up next year.”

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