The Rugby Paper is reporting that the flanker has penned a three year deal with the Cherry and Whites, who have to fill a Ross Moriarty shaped hole in their squad.
Kriel signed a two year deal with the Kubota Spears in June, which allows him to play Super Rugby for the Lions and then the shorter end of year season with the Japanese side.
This means Gloucester will not get to see Kriel until sometime in 2019.
The 184cm, 100kg Kriel has been capped 11 times for the Springboks and was part of the team that defeated France 3-0 in the mid-year test series in 2017.
Following the series, Kriel took over as captain of the Lions for the rest of the 2017 Super Rugby season after regular captain Warren Whiteley was injured during the test series against the French.
Kriel was then ruled out for the rest of 2017 following a shoulder injury at training prior to the first test against New Zealand.
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