By Ali Stokes
Argentinian second row Mariano Galarza has confirmed speculation surrounding a mid-season move to the Top14, announcing on Instagram yesterday evening (Thursday) that he would be joining French side Bordeaux Begles.
The 31-year-old amassed 33 appearances for Gloucester during his four-year stint having arrived from Premiership rivals Worcester Warriors in 2014.
Capped 25 times for Los Pumas, Galarza said: "There are no words to explain how grateful I am to Gloucester for the past 4 years.
"I've loved every single moment at the club making friends and memories for life. Really enjoyed wearing the cherry and white colours and giving my 100% for it! Special mention for the supporters who have been unreal with me since day one.
"Time for a new big challenge now, excited to see what the future holds for me at Bordeaux really happy to join this club and looking forward to play my part to help the team to success."
Gloucester's current locking stocks include Ed Slater, Gerbrandt Grobler, Tom Savage (currently injured) and the yet to arrive Springbok Franco Mostert, who will start for South Africa against the All Blacks tomorrow afternoon.
Head Coach Johan Ackermann will also turn to backrowers Freddie Clarke and his son, Ruan, to fill the engine room, both of whom have stepped up to the mark several times over the last two seasons.
With Ackermann showing favour to 20-year-old Academy prop duo Alex Seville and Ciaran Knight, the South African coach may also turn to a number of fledgling locks should injury strike the engine room as it has up front. Callum Allen, Harry Butler, Alex Craig all stand as potential candidates for senior inclusion.