Gloucester Rugby director of rugby Nigel Davies believes new hooker Richard Hibbard should be considered among the best in the world in his position.
The British and Irish Lions star, who is currently out of action after chipping a bone in his hand, is set to join the Cherry & Whites next season after ten years with the Ospreys in what Davies considers to be a coup for the Premiership side.
Hibbard, who made his Wales debut against Argentina in 2006, featured in all three Tests for the Lions against Australia this summer.
And he started the decisive third Test, a 41-16 victory at the ANZ Stadium, which sealed a 2-1 series victory Down Under.
Davies hopes Hibbard’s acquisition – and the signing of Kiwi World Cup winner John Afoa – will boost the power of the Gloucester pack next season, helping to turn them into a formidable appoint up front.
"As with the recent confirmation of John Afoa's signing, Richard agreeing to join Gloucester Rugby next season is fantastic news,” said Davies.
“Balancing the squad, and adding depth in key areas has been a key objective for us, and this news is another part of that process.
"It shows where we're heading as a club. We're building a team armed not just with power up front, but also the ability behind the scrum to play a rounded and complete game.
"Richard is arguably one of the top hookers in world rugby. Clubs all around the world have been interested in signing him, so it's significant that we've been able to convince him that Gloucester is the right place for him to play his rugby.
"And, once again, it's a testimony to the hard work and commitment of everyone at the club. We're able to invest significantly in our team thanks to the backing of our board, the continued financial success of Gloucester Rugby and the significant investment made by our partners, sponsors and supporters."