Gloucester confirm Burns departure
January 14, 2014
Burns' mooted switch to Leicester would enhance his England prospects further © Getty Images
Gloucester have confirmed England international fly-half Freddie Burns will be leaving Kingsholm at the end of the season.
There has been much speculation about the future of Burns in recent weeks - which only intensified with the news that Leicester fly-half and England team-mate Toby Flood would be moving to Toulouse next season. Burns' contract runs out at the end of the current campaign and, though the club were hopeful he may re-sign with a host of other first team players, it is now apparent the 23-year-old will be playing elsewhere next season.
Nothing has been confirmed about where Burns will end up, but it looks highly likely that he will replace Flood at Welford Road next season.
The announcement was made via a statement on the club's website.
"A number of players are out of contract at the end of the season, and I've been pleased to date with those who have re-signed, including the likes of Sione Kalamafoni, Henry Trinder and Billy Twelvetrees," said Nigel Davies, the club's director of rugby.
"Attention has naturally turned to Freddie Burns' situation and, despite lengthy dialogue, we have decided to part company.
"Therefore, we feel that it is important to clarify the situation. Doubtless, a statement on Freddie's future club will be made in due course. However, in terms of Gloucester Rugby, we know where we stand and we will move forward accordingly.
"As always, any statement regarding player signings will made via official channels at the appropriate time.
"Freddie has made a tremendous contribution to Gloucester Rugby and, when he does leave us at the end of the season, everyone at the Club will wish him well.
"Until that time however, I know that Freddie will be fully committed to Gloucester Rugby and that he will be determined to help us be as successful as possible this season."
Despite confirmation he will not be a Cherry and Whites player beyond the 2013-14 campaign, Burns also used the statement to underline his commitment to the cause for the remainder of the season.
"I've had a lot of things to consider regarding my future in recent months, and it's not been easy. But I'm still a Gloucester player and will be giving it 100%, as I always have done, whenever I pull on the shirt," he said.
"Gloucester have been incredibly supportive, they have been ever since I first joined the club. I have so many people to be grateful to. Whatever happens in the future, it all started here for me and I'll always be thankful for that."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter