Gloucester have signed Scotland fly-half Adam Hastings to fill the hole left by Danny Cipriani’s departure.
Cipriani, capped 16 times by England, left with immediate effect after two-and-a-half years at Kingsholm, and will be replaced for the 2021-22 season by the 24-year-old Glasgow Warriors back.
“After much deliberation I have decided to leave Gloucester,” said Cipriani, 33, on Twitter.
“I am sad to leave a great club, but excited for the challenges ahead.”
After moving from Wasps in May 2018, Cipriani signed a new deal in 2019. It was reported at the time to be a three-year contract, which looked likely to mean Cipriani would end his career at Kingsholm.
His departure is part of a Gloucester overhaul which started during the coronavirus lockdown in the summer, when director of rugby David Humphreys and head coach Johan Ackermann both departed, followed by the arrival of George Skivington as the Cherry and Whites’ new boss.
Gloucester announced the signing of Hastings, son of Scotland great Gavin and nephew of Scott, within an hour of confirming Cipriani’s exit.
“Adam has matured as a player impeccably over the last couple of years,” said Skivington.
“He has developed into a top international fly-half. The most exciting part for us is that he’s still got plenty of room for development as well.
“With Adam, Lloyd Evans and George Barton coming through as well, it’s an area in our squad that we believe has a huge amount of promise in the immediate, but also long-term future.”
Gloucester said in a statement they “would like to place on record our appreciation for Danny’s contribution during his time with us”.
Skivington added: “Danny has been playing at the top of his game for over a decade now. His reputation in the game is undisputed.
“It has been a pleasure to have been a part of Danny’s career at Gloucester and I wish him well for his next challenge.”
London-born Cipriani has spent most of his club career in the Premiership, starting with Wasps, from 2006 to 2010.
He then joined Australian Super Rugby side Melbourne Rebels before returning to the Premiership with Sale in 2012.
He returned to Wasps, by then based in Coventry, for a second time in 2016 before moving on in 2018 to Gloucester, for whom he has scored 128 points in 44 appearances.
The mercurial fly-half was included in England training squads before the 2019 World Cup but failed to make coach Eddie Jones’ final pool.