As revealed by Neil Fissler in The Rugby Paper on November 6, Carl Fearns will join Gloucester next season from Top 14 side Lyon.
The 27-year-old is believed to have signed a three-year deal with the Cherry and Whites worth £310,000 a season, about £50,000 more than what was offered by other Premiership teams.
Harlequins, Newcastle, Saracens and Leicester were all believed to be interested in signing Fearns who has represented England Saxons and England U20s and was shortlisted for IRB Junior Player of the Year in 2009.
The former Bath and Sale flanker is capable of playing all three back-row positions and boasts considerable Premiership experience, having made 93 appearances in total.
Fearns has spent the past two seasons with Lyon, helping them secure an immediate return from Pro D2 to the top flight, in that promotion season, he was voted Supporters’ Player of the Season.
“I’m thrilled to be joining Gloucester Rugby. Historically they have been a powerhouse in English rugby and I’m looking forward to working with the players and coaches to help them achieve their ambitions,” he said.
“I’ve really enjoyed playing my rugby in France and I feel as though I have become a better player for it. I’m excited to return to the Premiership and get stuck in.”
Gloucester Director of Rugby David Humphreys added: “We’re very happy that Carl has opted to join Gloucester Rugby. He’s a quality performer who has made it clear that he wants to be playing in the Premiership to give himself the best possible chance of playing for England, and he sees Gloucester as the best place for him to achieve that goal.
“Carl is exactly the sort of individual that we were looking for to supplement what we already have in the back row. Skillful, tough, uncompromising and possessing a win at all costs attitude.
“He’s the kind of person you want alongside you when you’re up against it and we’re very happy that he’ll be joining us for next season. Carl’s signing is a statement of intent for the future and he won’t be the final signing we announce in the days to come.”
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