Gloucester get burned by Freddie
Gloucester get burned by FreddieSHARE
After weeks of speculation Gloucester have finaly confirmed that England flyhalf Freddie Burns will leave the club at the end of this season.
And while Burns' destination has not been yet been announced, but Gloucester's Premiership rivals Leicester are firm favourites for his signature.
Gloucester revealed the player's eminent departure in a statement on Tuesday.
The future of the 23-year-old, who made his senior bow in Andy Hazell's testimonial match ahead of the 2009-10 season, and who is out of contract at the end of the current season, has been the subject of intense media attention in recent weeks.
Burns, who was capped by England in 2012, is expected to fill the vacancy at Tigers left by France-bound Toby Flood.
Discussions between Burns and Cherry and Whites over a new contract have been ongoing for some time.
However, agreement has not been reached and, by mutual consent, both parties have started to pursue alternative options.
"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," Gloucesterr Director of Rugby Nigel Davies said.
"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."
Meanwhile, Burns himself reaffirmed his commitment to the Gloucester cause till the end of the season, following what has been a difficult spell for him.
"I've had a lot of things to consider regarding my future in recent months, and it's not been easy," the player said.
"But I'm still a Gloucester player and will be giving it 100 percent, as I always have done, whenever I pull on the shirt.
"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."