Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw agrees to join Gloucester at the end of the season to boost half-back options

Freddie Burns will leave the Cherry and Whites with Laidlaw able to cover at both nine and 10

Scotland playmaker Greig Laidlaw has completed a deal to join Gloucester next season, replacing Leicester-bound Freddie Burns as the Cherry and Whites' frontline fly-half.

Gloucester boss Nigel Davies expects versatile 28-year-old Laidlaw to feature almost as often at scrum-half as he will at 10, citing the Edinburgh pivot's pinpoint goal-kicking as crucial to the transfer.

Laidlaw has amassed 27 caps since his 2011 Scotland debut, preferred at scrum-half in the current RBS 6 Nations campaign.

England fly-half Burns' decision to join Leicester next term led Gloucester rugby director Davies to recruit "an 80 per cent-plus goal-kicker" to back up the statement signings of John Afoa and Richard Hibbard in the pack.

"He's likely to be first-choice 10 but we've got a few combinations there," said former Wales coach Davies.

"We see him very much as a nine-come-10, which he has done at Scotland, he's played 40 per cent of his games at 10 for Scotland.

"He's the right type of character that we need to bring into this group.

"He's a natural leader, and he impacts games very positively.

"He's a true 80 per cent-plus goal-kicker, so we're very excited about that."

England squad fly-half Burns' form has plummeted ever since he agonised for nearly two months over whether to sign for Leicester for next term.

The Bath-born livewire attacking talent suffered another forgettable afternoon as Gloucester were overwhelmed 39-13 in the Aviva Premiership at Northampton on Saturday.

Last term Burns' goal-kicking accuracy tipped 75 per cent while this term his league stats linger around 57 per cent.

Burns will be hoping the Leicester move brings a new lease of life, while Gloucester and Davies are backing Laidlaw's goal-kicking consistency to help spark a Kingsholm revival after a disappointing season so far.

Despite Scotland and Edinburgh currently both being keen to channel Laidlaw towards scrum-half, Davies said the new recruit is relaxed about mixing his half-back duties at Kingsholm next season.

England Saxons scrum-half Dan Robson has prior experience of fly-half, with Davies expecting the playmaking duo to interchange in open play next season.

"With Dan Robson there too, the work those two can do together will be very interesting," said Davies, admitting their partnership will follow the fluid French model.

"Both of them play nine and 10, and in phase play we can experiment with a few things next year.

"But the key thing for me is, I've spoken to Greig, he's really keen to get to Gloucester, he felt it was the right move for him, he wanted to come to the club and play in front of the fantastic support we have at Kingsholm.

"He feels with the squad we're putting together for next season, he thinks he can do that."


Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower