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Gloucester pounce for Newcastle hooker

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Brotherstone is reported to have been bitterly disappointed at the manner in which he was told he was surplus to requirements at the Falcons after battling back from a long injury, but having sealed a move to last season's regular season Zurich Premiership winners, insists that he is only looking ahead.

"Gloucester is a rugby town, Newcastle is a football town and rugby comes second. One of the main reasons why I wanted to come to Kingsholm was because of the support base," Brotherstone told the official Gloucester website.

"I have been to Kingsholm a few times with Newcastle and Northampton and the crowd probably gave the home team a 10-point head start. I think it would be nice to be on their side for once.

"I am also looking forward to the challenge of European rugby with Gloucester. I experienced it with Northampton for a season and playing against the best teams in France, Wales, Scotland and Ireland is very exciting.

"There are some Gloucester players doing the business at international level this summer, particularly in the front row. It is an exciting prospect playing with them after the World Cup."

Brotherstone joined Newcastle from Northampton Saints two seasons ago, and has eight Scotland caps to his name, the last of which came in June 2002 after his debut in 1999.

He fills the gap at Gloucester left by the departure of Frenchman Olivier Azam, with the club having previously been interested in French veteran Raphael Ibanez, who eventually opted to join Saracens instead.

"We're excited about what he will do at Gloucester," said coach Nigel Melville.

"He hasn't got any World Cup commitments so he will be involved with us in pre-season. He is a quality player, we know all about that.

"He had some injuries last season so didn't play as much as he would have wanted, but this is a very good opportunity for him."

Brotherstone's departure leaves Newcastle with a mainly young hooking contingent, academy products Matt Thompson and Nick Makin being supplemented by big Kiwi James Christian during last season.

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