Issued on behalf of Gloucester Rugby
Gloucester Rugby can confirm that flanker Akapusi Qera will leave the club at the end of the year to take up a contract with French Top 14 side Toulouse.
The 29 year-old Fiji international, who has been with Gloucester since 2007, has been the subject of an official approach by the French side in recent weeks. With agreement now reached on compensation for the time remaining on his contract, Qera will start with Toulouse on January 1st.
Qera moved to Kingsholm from Championship side Pertemps Bees, following the conclusion of Rugby World Cup 2007, has gone on to make well in excess of 100 appearances for the club and was contracted until the end of the current season.
Gloucester’s Director of Rugby, Nigel Davies, commented:
“We are naturally disappointed to lose Q (Qera) at this time. However, on his return from the Autumn internationals, he requested for his own reasons to be released from his contract early.
“On a personal level, it has been a pleasure working with Akapusi and I wish him well in his new career at Toulouse.
“For personal reasons, I feel the time is right for me to move on from Gloucester Rugby now after the last seven seasons at Kingsholm.
“I would like to thank the Club and its supporters for the backing they have given me over the years, and my time at Gloucester will always be close to my heart.
The Fijian back row added:
“It’s clear Gloucester Rugby is right to return to strengthening its core rugby values, and I am grateful to the Club for the understanding that it has shown me in my wish to pursue this opportunity with Toulouse.
Davies will now fully consider his options moving forward for the rest of the season, with funding being made available through a transfer fee and the remainder of Qera’s salary.
“As we continue to reshape the squad, we have a clear direction of where we want to be going forward.
“I am very pleased with the recruitment and retention of players we’ve already achieved and, thanks to the hard work and commitment from our team here, and with the backing of our Board of Directors and our supporters, there will be more positive news in the New Year as we continue this process.