Gloucester are poised to sign Super Rugby star Tom Marshall ahead of next season. The 24-year-old, who can play full-back or inside centre, has been released by provincial club Tasman Makos.
He has attracted widespread interest from across Europe but it is understood the Cherry and Whites are leading the chase.
A deal appears imminent and if completed he will link up with the club following the Chiefs’ Super Rugby defence.
Tasman Rugby CEO Tony Lewis confirmed the developments to the Citizen and said: “Tom has decided his future lies elsewhere.
“He asked to be released from the final year of his contract with Tasman which we have agreed to.
“It is our understanding he will take up a contract in Europe following the Super Rugby season with the Chiefs.”
The former Junior World Championship winner is also qualified to play for England due to his grandparents and is likely to arrive in June.
He made 15 appearances during the Chiefs title-winning season and previously spent three years at the Crusaders but was behind Israel Dagg in the pecking order.
Lewis added: “He’s a very talented player and has the ability to play international football. He has English grandparents so there I have no doubt that he will come back to haunt New Zealand.
“He comes from a very talented sporting family in Nelson, his brother James is the captain of Taranaki.
“At Tasman we strive to create professional players for the next level whether that is for the Crusaders or All Blacks. Tom has decided this is his next stage.”
Marshall’s preferred position is inside centre but Gloucester view the Auckland-born ace as a player that can provide quality and consistency right across the back-line –particularly when the internationals are away.