The Sharks No2 is off to Gloucester. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

GLOUCESTER – Sharks hooker Franco Marais will add to what is an ever-increasing South African contingent at Gloucester as he gets set to join the English club ahead of the 2018-19 season.

Last year, former Lions Johan Ackermann joined Gloucester as head coach, while his talented son, Ruan, followed in his footsteps.

Recently, it was also confirmed that other former Lions such as Franco Mostert, Jaco Kriel and Ruan Dreyer would be linking up with the Ackermanns after this Super Rugby season.

South African-born lock Gerbrandt Grobler is already on Gloucester's books, while Marais has now joined the growing influx of South Africans at the club.

Gloucester is coached by former Lions coach Johan Ackermann.

Marais has regularly been the first-choice hooker at the Sharks since making his debut for the Durban-based side back in 2014, but this season a lack of form and fitness have seen Akker van der Merwe and Chiliboy Ralepelle establish themselves at the top of the pecking order.

When confirming the recruitment of Marais, Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys suggested that they felt the 25-year-old still had his best rugby ahead of him.

"We're thrilled to confirm that Franco will be joining the club, he's a player that has captured a lot of attention in Super Rugby with his work at the set piece, and he is excited to be a part of what we're hoping to achieve here at Gloucester moving forward.

"Johan [Ackermann] is well aware of Franco's qualities as a player and as an individual, and the way he has been progressing in Super Rugby. We're delighted that he's going to come and join us at Kingsholm." 

African News Agency (ANA)