GLOUCESTER’S new signing Tom Isaacs is relishing the opportunity to play in front of a packed Kingsholm.
The Ospreys centre will join the Cherry and Whites in the summer after penning a two-year contract with the club.
And having spent the last four seasons playing in front of a half empty Liberty Stadium, the 27-year-old has revealed the passionate Kingsholm crowd was a major force behind his decision.
Isaacs said: “I felt it was time for a change and an opportunity arose at Gloucester, which was something I was really keen upon, fortunately the Ospreys agreed to release me from the final year of my contract.
“Obviously I’m well aware of the history of the club, they have great tradition and the fact that they have such a huge following is very appealing to any rugby player.
“To play in front of such an enthusiastic crowd at Kingsholm was a big influence is something I’m really looking forward to.
“I remember watching the recent Heineken Cup match against Munster at home and you could feel the support and atmosphere from your living room.”
Isaacs, who has been signed to boost the Cherry and Whites midfield options, is currently sidelined following ankle surgery.
But his rehab is going to plan and he should be fit and firing for the start of his first pre-season with his new club.
But the Wales Sevens World Cup winner is under no illusions of the competition he will face upon his arrival with the likes of Henry Trinder, Jonny May and Mike Tindall all options for the number 13 jersey.
Isaacs said: “There’s a young, exciting squad at Gloucester and that’s especially the case in the back-line, which is one I think I can complement.
“I’m fully aware of the competition for places, there are a lot of talented boys there like Henry Trinder, who has already been a part of England squads.
“I really respect that competition and the challenge that lies ahead but I’m also determined to put my own stamp down and push my own case for a starting spot. Hopefully I can make a good impact.”
Despite crossing the Severn Bridge life at Hartpury is likely to have a familiar feel for Isaacs with a growing contingent of Welshmen assembled – the latest being his Ospreys teammate Richard Hibbard and old pal Aled Thomas.
And while this season has been a disappointing one for both Isaacs and the Cherry and Whites, he is confident Nigel Davies’ rebuilding process and plans for the future will leave the club on cloud nine.
He added: “There’s a few other Welsh boys joining and I’m keen to link back up with Aled, who was one of my teammates at the Sevens World Cup which we won in Dubai.
“And playing on a weekly basis with Hibbs is something any player would be happy to do.
“He’s a real 100 per-center, who has a complete disrespect for his body and throws himself into some huge collisions.
“I understand Gloucester really want to improve on this season and I have sat down with Nigel and he has shown me his plans and the rest of the recruitment.
“Obviously the club are keen to make a statement next year and to push for the league title which is really exciting and hopefully I can play my role in that.”