GLOUCESTER have completed the capture of the highly rated back rower Jacob Rowan from Leeds Carnegie.
The 24-year-old flanker arrives at Kingsholm having recently captained Leeds Carnegie to a third placed finish in the Greene King IPA Championship and, most recently, to a narrow play-off defeat to London Welsh, Leeds' second semi final defeat in succession.
Born in Keighley and a product of the club's Academy system, Rowan became the youngest ever captain of Leeds Carnegie when he was appointed to the role in 2012.
Rowan also captained England U20s in the 2010 Junior World Championship in Argentina, leading a team that featured current Gloucester rugby players Jonny May and Shaun Knight.
A Chemistry graduate from the University of Leeds, he is the latest name to join up with the Cherry and Whites ahead of the new season, and his commitment and leadership skills in the back row will make him a valuable addition to the Gloucester squad.
Rowan admitted that it would be a wrench to leave the club where he's spent his entire playing career to date, but that the time is right for a new challenge.
"It's going to be strange. I've been at Leeds since I was 14-years-old, nearly 10 years now. I've made a lot of good friends here and it'll feel odd to move on.
"But I'm at the stage of my career where I want to really test myself at the highest level on a consistent basis. When I heard that Gloucester were interested in me, it was too good an opportunity to turn down.
"I'm really looking forward to getting down there and getting stuck into pre-season. It's a great club, a fine stadium and the team enjoys superb support.
"The squad is looking really good for next season and I'm looking forward to being a part of it.”
However, he has one final last outing in Leeds colours – the British & Irish Cup Final against Leinster A in Dublin.
He admitted that it would be great to sign off by helping Leeds lift some silverware.
"We were obviously devastated to lose at London Welsh in the play-offs last Sunday. It's been a really good season overall, and that was a blow but we at least have the chance to finish on a high in Dublin.
"It's a massive game and we've been really focused in training this week. To round off my Leeds career by helping the side to lift the trophy would be a great way to finish.”