Kriel has played his last game for the Lions
Cape Town - Springbok loose forward Jaco Kriel will join English club Gloucester before their pre-season starts in July.
It was confirmed on Monday that Kriel had signed a deal with Gloucester where he will link up with his former provincial coach Johan Ackermann.
Kriel is currently sidelined with a shoulder injury and has not featured for the Lions in Super Rugby this year.
The Johannesburg franchise on Monday agreed to release the player which will enable him to start pre-season with Gloucester ahead of the 2018/19 European season.
"Jaco's record in his career so far speaks for itself, and he is a player that Johan rates very highly. He will understand immediately what Johan expects from his players, and the style of play that we are trying to promote,” Gloucester’s Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the club’s official website.
Humphreys continued: "Jaco was one of the leading players for the Lions during their development as a squad, and their drive to two Super Rugby finals, and has also been a real star in the Springbok jersey.
"At the club, we have some really exciting young players, especially in our back row forward area, and Jaco's arrival will provide us with more world class quality in that position, especially with the pressures put on the squad as we take on Champions Cup rugby next season.
"He has been frustrated to miss out this season with a shoulder injury however, he has already met with all of our backroom team at Hartpury College, and he will be fit and firing come the start of the new season."
The 28-year-old Kriel boasts 11 Test caps for the Springboks.