Scots pair head south of the border

Gloucester announced the signing of two of Scottish rugby’s brightest forward prospects, putting an end to the rumours, but increasing the pressure on Scottish Rugby to hang on to the best Scots players.

Alasdair Dickinson and Alasdair Strokosch, who both featured for Edinburgh against Gloucester in the Heineken Cup earlier this season, have signed one-year deals and will join up with their new team-mates in July.

They follow in the footsteps of Scotland scrum-half Rory Lawson, who has made a tremendous impact at Kingsholm since making the switch at the start of the current season.

Strokosch, a 6ft 3in (1m 93) flanker, won his first senior international call-up for Scotland against Australia in the autumn internationals, and was this week added to the training squad for Saturday’s Six Nations encounter with Ireland.

The 24-year-old is renowned as one of the hardest tacklers in the Magners League and has featured prominently on the blindside this season for Edinburgh.

“I’m really excited to be joining one of the strongest club sides in Europe,” Strokosch told the club website.

“I had really good discussions with their coaching staff and was impressed by the facilities and the positive feeling at the place – I’m certain that moving to Gloucester will be good for my game.”

Meanwhile Dickinson, 23, a dynamic prop who favours the loosehead side, has been capped by Scotland at every level up to A-international.

“I know from first-hand experience how strong a Gloucester forward pack can be, and it will be a real challenge to force my way into contention next season,” Dickinson said.

“Once I spoke to the coaches I was in no doubt that if I want to reach the highest levels then Gloucester offers the tough environment that can help me to achieve my goals.”

Gloucester’s head coach Dean Ryan added: “We are careful who we want to attract but feel both of these players will add tremendously to the pool of talent we already have available.

“They played against us in the Heineken Cup this season and impressed us greatly. We are attempting to build a young, talented and competitive squad, and both of these players typify what we are looking for.”

365 Digital

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