Cape Town - English club Gloucester on Wednesday announced the signing of Springbok and Lions lock Franco Mostert.
In the current Super Rugby campaign, Mostert has been an ever-present for the Johannesburg-based outfit, displaying his leadership skills in captaining the side, and his versatility operating at both flank and in the more familiar second row.
A player whose signature has been highly sought-after across Europe, the 27-year-old second row was keen to renew his relationship with Johan Ackermann and will be reunited with his former coach after the conclusion of this year’s Super Rugby competition.
Ackermann has now convinced son Ruan, flank Jaco Kriel and Mostert, as well as Sharks hooker Franco Marais, to leave South African shores and head to England.
Mostert began his career with the Blue Bulls in Pretoria, before switching to Johannesburg with the Lions, making over 50 appearances for the Ellis Park team to date, including captaining the team for much of the 2018 Super Rugby campaign, and playing a key part in the franchise’s improvements in recent seasons.
Standing at 1.98m tall, the imposing South African has racked up 18 appearances for his country to date, scoring his first international try last year against Italy.
Mostert also represented the Ricoh Black Rams in the Japanese Top League, before he returned to Super Rugby with the Lions.
Gloucester’s director of rugby David Humphreys is thrilled that Mostert will be joining the Cherry and Whites.
“Franco has proved to be one of the stars of Super Rugby, and we are delighted that he will be playing in Cherry and White next season,” Humphreys told the club’s official website.
“We know the Gloucester fans love their physical, hard-working forwards, and Franco is exactly that. He has so many quality attributes, and this is a big sign of our intent as a squad to push to the next level.
“Obviously Franco is a player that Johan is very familiar with, and Franco will know what Johan expects from his players, and he is the type of character that will fit in well to our squad.
“He is a current international and has been captaining the Lions throughout the Super Rugby season, so he displays leadership skills that will again benefit our squad.
“With the squad looking forward to the challenges of Champions Cup rugby this coming season, we need quality throughout our squad as at times it will be tested, and Franco adds to our second-row stocks, in an area of real strength and depth.”
Mostert is excited for a new chapter in his career, for him and his young family, and is looking forward to a new challenge.
“I’m excited about this move, because it’s a new chapter in our lives. I’m excited to learn about the English league, and also the values of my new team, and the things I’ve heard from other players are very positive. I hope to bring a new energy to the team.
“I am beyond excited to link up with coach ‘Akkies’ (Ackermann) again, we have come a long way together, it wasn’t always the easy way but that is why I have so much respect for him as a coach, and as a role model. He has had a big influence on my life in more ways than one.
“I am always excited and ready for new adventures, and it is nice to have a new challenge and I like a challenge, as it pushes me to be the best and keeps me driven.”