Aviva Premiership: Edinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw secures Gloucester move
Last Updated: 04/03/14 9:41am
Greig Laidlaw has spent seven years at Edinburgh
Edinburgh captain Greig Laidlaw will leave the club to join Gloucester at the end of the season.
Laidlaw signed for Edinburgh back in 2006 and has held the captaincy for three seasons, but the half-back has decided to seek out a new challenge with the Aviva Premiership side.
During his seven-year spell at the club, Laidlaw made 136 appearances and earned 27 caps for his country - with the 28-year-old comfortable in both the No 9 and No 10 jerseys.
Laidlaw will link-up with the west country team in the summer and follows in the footsteps of Scottish scrum halves Bryan Redpath and Rory Lawson, who also had spells in Gloucester.
"I'd like to thank everyone involved in Edinburgh Rugby for their support over seven fantastic seasons at Murrayfield," said Laidlaw.
"I've taken great pride from playing and captaining the team in some memorable matches, something which I'll never forget.
"Naturally I'm excited about the next chapter of my career however my focus is completely on putting my best rugby into the Six Nations championship and delivering a strong finish for Edinburgh Rugby in the RaboDirect PRO12."
Gloucester had been looking to bolster their back division for next season following the announcement that Freddie Burns would be leaving.
And director of rugby Nigel Davies said: "We see him very much as a nine/ten, a role that he's fulfilled for Scotland. He's exactly the right sort of character that we want to bring in to the squad, he's a natural leader with a fantastic skill set and he impacts games positively. He's also a true 80 per cent-plus goal kicker.
"When I went up to Scotland to meet him, he realised where we were and of our desire for him to play both positions. He's happy to do that. He's played nearly 40 per cent of his international rugby as a fly-half and has a very accurate and astute kicking game.
Greig Laidlaw: Can play scrum-half or fly-half
"And his goal kicking will be absolutely essential for us. When you look at the teams who finish in the top four, one of the things they have is a high percentage goal kicker."
Edinburgh have a number of possible replacements waiting in the wings such as Scotland A capped pair Sean Kennedy and Grayson Hart, while Sam Hidalgo-Clyne has also impressed in the position this season.
Head coach Alan Solomons has praised Laidlaw's loyal service to the club and wished him well in the next chapter of his career.
"Greig (Laidlaw) has made a great contribution this season, both as a captain and as a player, but I also understand he feels that, at this time in his career, something new and fresh will be good for him," said Solomons.
"Greig has been fantastic for us but this move clearly opens the door for the three quality young Scottish scrum-halves that we have at the club.
"He goes absolutely with our blessing. We wish him well and we thank him for the terrific contribution he has made to the club."