John Afoa: Gloucester sign All Blacks prop from Ulster

Gloucester have confirmed the signing of Ulster prop John Afoa.

The New Zealander, who has 36 caps for the All Blacks, joined Ulster from Auckland Blues after the 2011 World Cup and has played 48 games for them.

Afoa, 30, will join Gloucester for next season and director of rugby Nigel Davies was delighted to beat off stern competition to sign him.

"He is an exceptional player and an exceptional character," Davies told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

Afoa's career

  • Born in Auckland in 1983
  • Made New Zealand debut in 2005
  • Capped 36 times for All Blacks
  • Won Rugby World Cup in 2011
  • Joined Ulster on two-and-a-half-year deal after World Cup
  • Contract expires June 2014

"It is a very big statement about our future ambition."

"He is hugely experienced and will add a huge amount of weight in all sort of terms to our pack as well as bringing his own individual ability,"

Afoa has spent two seasons with Ulster, having made his debut against Connacht in the Pro12 in November 2011, but said he was ready for a new challenge.

"Gloucester have got a good team in place already, but are now looking to try and take things up a level and that's a really exciting prospect, similar to the challenge that I took on when I came to Ulster a couple of years ago."

He added: "I've heard that the Gloucester fans appreciate their forward play, and I'm looking forward to that.

"I know that they already possess some really exciting backs, so I'll be aiming to add to the tight five effort and help create a platform for those guys to play their game."