GLOUCESTER are set to announce the hotly anticipated signing of James Hook early next week.
The Cherry and Whites met the 75-capped international two weeks ago and terms were agreed last week but the move was delayed as the two parties awaited release papers from Perpignan.
Hook (pictured) had signed a four-year deal with the Catalan club last September but a release clause was activated after they were relegated from the Top 14.
He attracted a frenzy of interest and it is believed he had more than 10 offers on the table. But it is understood the details for a three-year contract at Kingsholm have been ironed out with an official announcement imminent.
He has been signed as a direct replacement for Freddie Burns, who has joined Leicester Tigers. Nigel Davies first spoke to his representatives in March but the first real talks took place last week.
Gloucester will now have a wealth of resources at half-back with Hook, fellow Welshman Aled Thomas and Billy Burns the specialist contenders for the number 10 jersey and Greig Laidlaw and Dan Robson contesting at scrum-half.
Laidlaw also has the ability to slot in at 10, as initially planned, while Billy Twelvetrees and Mark Atkinson can also provide cover.
The sensational signing of Hook, who has also been capped at full-back and in the centre, almost completes a major recruitment drive for the Cherry and Whites, who were desperately disappointed by their ninth place Aviva Premiership finish.
It is understood they are still to confirm deals fot at least another hooker and scrum-half, while the academy is set to double in size.