13 December 2004
Gloucester Rugby Club has signed Welsh international hooker Mefin Davies for the remainder of the 2004/05 season.
The 32 year-old front row man was a regular for Wales in the recent Autumn internationals, playing against South Africa as a replacement and starting against Romania, New Zealand and Japan.
Davies will be available to play against Leicester Tigers in this weekend's Powergen Cup tie at Welford Road, but is not registered for Gloucester's remaining two Heineken Cup games against Ulster and Stade Francais.
The Kingsholm club signed Davies after both Chris Fortey (broken ankle) and Olivier Azam (shoulder) were ruled out with long term injuries.
Summer signing James Parkes has performed well in recent Heineken Cup encounters and Gloucester's only other registered hooker is 21 year-old Rob Elloway.
Commenting on www.gloucesterrugbyclub.com Mefin Davies said: "It's great news and a huge relief for me to join up with Gloucester. It's a good environment here and it's always positive to be involved in the top flight of rugby.
"I spoke to a few of the Welsh players about the Zurich Premiership, including Colin Charvis (Newcastle) and Geraint Lewis (Bath), and they've all been impressed by the game here in England."
Davies has been playing for Welsh Premiership side Neath and the Neath Swansea Ospreys, who he came on as a first half replacement for in their win over NEC Harlequins at the weekend.
"The Ospreys were keen to sign me, and it was a tough decision, but it's going to be a great opportunity at Kingsholm."
Davies last played at Kingsholm in October 1996 when he played for his first club Dunvant against Gloucester, and two of his new team mates Phil Vickery and Mark Cornwell, in the Anglo-Welsh Conference.
After the Celtic Warriors disbanded last summer Davies was left without a Welsh club for the start of the current campaign, and a move to France also fell through.
The international number two signed up with Welsh Premiership side Neath, and also saw game time with Neath Swansea Ospreys.
"It's a totally new start for me. After Celtic Warriors disbanded last summer, and a move to France didn't happen, all the places had gone at the other regional sides and I had to go back to working part-time.
"I've been keeping up my fitness by working with Andrew Hore at the WRU, and worked some of the week in electrical and control engineering.
"It's a new start and a new challenge for me and geographically it means I can remain settled at home, as I live in Pontypridd.
"I've played in pretty much all of the rugby venues in Wales and against most of the clubs, so it's a massive challenge for me to be involved at Gloucester in a new environment, against new clubs and at different stadia.
"They've been very supportive of the move in Wales, as it was a hard summer for me, and I didn't want to lose out on my international duties. I'm sure the WRU are delighted for me, as I'll be involved at a club playing at the highest level, so it's good for everyone."
Mefin Davies Profile:
Date of birth: 02.09.72
Height: 5ft 10"
Previous clubs: Neath Swansea Ospreys, Neath, Celtic Warriors, Pontypridd, Dunvant
International hons: Wales (24 caps)
Last international: Wales Vs Japan (November 2004)