GLOUCESTER have made a major statement of intent for next season by signing one of the world's most prestigious talents, England fly-half Danny Cipriani.

Cipriani has won 14 caps and last started for England in 2008 but last week national coach Eddie Jones included him in his 34-man squad for the three-Test trip to South Africa in June before linking up with his new team-mates at Kingsholm this summer.

The 30-year-old, who has signed from Aviva Premiership rivals Wasps, is arguably one of the game’s most naturally gifted performers in the professional era, and has enjoyed a superb 2017-18 season for Wasps, winning plaudits from many pundits for his performances domestically and in Europe.

The signing is reward for head coach Johan Ackermann for guiding the perennial under-achievers to the European Challenge Cup final last Friday, where they lost by one point to Cardiff Blues.

Yet by reaching that final, Gloucester qualified for the European Champions Cup, the minimum criteria demanded by owner and chairman Martin St Quinton when he took over the reigns at Kingsholm in February 2016.

Cipriani is sure to start as first choice fly-half ahead of Billy Burns when the new season kicks-off in September.

Gloucester’s director of rugby David Humphreys said he is thrilled at the prospect of having such a huge talent at their club.

Humphreys said: “We’re absolutely delighted that Danny has signed for Gloucester Rugby. As one of the most influential and talented fly halves in the Premiership over the past decade, the chance to sign him was simply too good an opportunity to turn down.

“He’s probably in the best form of his career, reflected in his selection in the England squad to tour South Africa, and his signing is a significant one for the club.

“Danny is very excited by the challenge of joining Gloucester and his arrival will strengthen our current options at no 10 and will complement the rest of the squad that we are still assembling for next season.

“At 30-years-old, he brings a wealth of Premiership and Champions Cup experience to Gloucester and his signing is a real statement of intent by the club to compete at the highest level in both competitions next season.

“We look forward to welcoming him to Kingsholm after a successful tour to South Africa.”

Cipriani said he is looking forward to the next exciting challenge in his career.

The fly-half said: “I’ve always enjoyed playing at Kingsholm and am excited at the prospect of spending the next few years in Cherry and White and playing in front of the Shed.

“Having spoken in depth with David Humphreys and Johan Ackermann, the future they have planned for the club is enticing and one that I very much want to be part of. It’s the most exciting move of my career to date.

“I’ve still some important rugby to play for Wasps in the meantime and, when the time comes, it’s probably going to be an emotional farewell.

“But that’s the modern game, we’ll part on good terms and wish each other well for the future. The next chapter of my career will be as a Gloucester Rugby player and I’m really looking forward to it.”