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Premiership Rugby

Gloucester in Ibanez talks

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The departure of Frenchman Olivier Azam to Montferrand necessitates the arrival of a new top-class hooker, and it seems that the 29-year-old Ibanez fits the bill.

"It would be a major coup if we could sign him," coach Nigel Melville told the Gloucester Citizen newspaper.

"We have managed to be reasonably discreet about this, but it always manages to get out somehow."

Zurich Premiership rivals Leicester Tigers are also reported to be in the race for the Castres star, who has been linked with Biarritz in the French rugby press.

Capped 63 times by his country, the Dax-born star will be away for the first stages of the Premiership season on World Cup duty, but his no-nonsense style of play would undoubtedly go down well with Gloucester's famous 'Shedhead' supporters.

By Mark Smith

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