Flanker Jaco Kriel has been released from his contract with Gloucester to rejoin South African Super Rugby side the Lions, the English Premiership club announced on Monday.
The 11 times-capped Springbok joined Gloucester in 2018 but injuries limited him to just 20 first-team appearances, including only five this season. He has not played since late November due to an ankle problem.
“It’s a real shame,” said Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys. “But Jaco has personal reasons for wanting to return home and, although we very much want him to stay, we are sympathetic to his request.
“We are fortunate that the back row is a position of strength for us.
“He has been so unfortunate with injuries, but I am delighted he has now got the opportunity to get back playing Super Rugby with the Lions.”
Kriel has won 11 caps for the Springboks, the most recent against Australia in September 2017.
“I have genuinely loved it here,” he said. “It’s an outstanding club with outstanding people and, despite the injuries, I don’t regret a moment of it.
“I’m just sorry that I couldn’t deliver more out there on the pitch.”
The @LionsRugbyCo have re-signed flanker Jaco Kriel for three years from English Premiership side Gloucester.
— Sport On 405 (@SportOn405) February 3, 2020