Gallagher Premiership strugglers Gloucester have confirmed the departure of Australian hooker James Hanson, the front rower that initially arrived in December 2017 on a short-term deal, who will be replaced by the signing of Argentine hooker Santiago Socino. 

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Hanson, 32, later signed a permanent deal that led to 37 appearances for the club but he will now leave Kingsholm to pursue opportunities in his native homeland of Australia with his young family. 

With Hanson exiting, Gloucester have announced the signing of Argentine Socino with immediate effect. He arrived in the UK earlier this week and will join George Skivington’s squad for the remainder of the season. 

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Chris Ashton’s first media conference as a Worcester player

Twice capped by Argentina, the hooker has Premiership experience under his belt having made 34 appearances for Newcastle during his spell with the Falcons.

Commenting on the exit of Hanson and arrival of Socino, chief operating officer Alex Brown said: “Obviously we are sad to see James leave the club but are equally understanding of the opportunities he has to return home to Australia. 

“James has been the consummate professional during his time at Kingsholm and we wish him the very best for the future. With James moving on, it was important for us to secure the services of another quality hooker, and Santiago fits that bill.

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“Santiago arrives with international and Premiership pedigree and will provide added strength in depth to our hooker resources.”

Beaten 31-26 at Kingsholm by Northampton last Saturday, Gloucester head to London Irish next Saturday bottom of the table on seven points, three points behind next-best Worcester after seven rounds of league action. 

“We have certainly gone done the honest conversations route,” admitted rookie Gloucester boss Skivington. “We did some good stuff, put ourselves in a good position to go on and win the game and as I said after there was some clocking off.”

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