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Franco Mostert in line for first Gloucester start after ‘touchy’ negotiations

Lock Franco Mostert’s eagerly-awaited arrival at Gloucester looks likely to be crowned with a first appearance against Bristol Bears on Friday night.

Mostert watched the Cherry and Whites defeat Wasps at the weekend in the Premiership Rugby Cup, but his move has been disputed by his old outfit the Lions.

The Springbok international’s exit from the Super Rugby franchise was saddled with acrimony, with the Lions claiming his signing by Gloucester was an infringement of ‘irregular player movement’.

But as of November 1 Mostert is set to officially become a Gloucester player, as confirmed by Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus.

“It’s such a touchy thing at this stage, and for him personally, to just settle in at Gloucester, I decided not to involve him for this weekend – for him personally just to settle into his new club,” Erasmus said.

“I think, if we went into the detail, we could’ve selected him, but it’s not worth going into that.”

“We will miss him, but I think it’s just fair to give him proper time to settle in.”

Erasmus will turn to Sharks forward Pieter-Steph du Toit to fill in for Mostert for this weekend’s Test against England.

Mostert is just one of the usual starters unavailable to the Boks due to the match falling outside of the World Rugby-designated international window.

This would allow the forward to play against Bristol at Ashton Gate.

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