Gloucester sign Bedford centre

Bedford centre Mark Atkinson will join Gloucester in the summer.

Atkinson, a former fly-half who now plays at inside centre, had previous spells at Sale, Wasps and Esher.

He has been one of the star performers in the Championship this season and Gloucester boss Nigel Davies told BBC Radio he is delighted to sign Atkinson.

"Mark is one of the stand out players in the Championship," he said.

Great stature

"He's 6ft 4ins, so brings great stature to his game, but also has a great handling and offloading skill set.

"He's played 10 for most of his career so can step in there, as well as at 15, but is coming predominantly as a 12 who can play other positions. He will offer great versatility."

Davies is rebuilding the Gloucester squad for next season, with Atkinson joining some high profile arrivals in the shape of Richard Hibbard, Greig Laidlaw, Aled Thomas, John Afoa and Mariano Galarza.