Gloucester Rugby: Nigel Davies' plans convinced James Hudson to seal deal
LINEOUT king James Hudson admits Nigel Davies' future Kingsholm vision convinced him to make the Gloucester switch.
The 31-year-old lock will end four years with Newcastle Falcons this summer, after completing a three-year Kingsholm deal for next term.
Former Bath and London Irish lineout coordinator Hudson has been Gloucester's top second-row target since the Cherry and Whites missed out on Nick Kennedy and Geoff Parling.
And Hudson revealed it was rugby director Davies' long-term Kingsholm plans that sold him on the Cherry and Whites.
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Locked in the battle to help Newcastle win promotion back to the Premiership, Hudson explained: "I've always enjoyed playing at Kingsholm as an away player, it's a fabulous stadium with a passionate crowd.
"And talking to Nigel Davies, I was excited about his plans for the future and my potential role within that.
"It was something that I decided I definitely wanted to be part of.
"I've enjoyed my time hugely with the Falcons.
"They've been a massive part of my career, and I'm fully committed to playing my part in helping them regain their Premiership status before I leave.
"However I felt that now was the time for a new challenge.
"My priority now though is to finish what we've started at the Falcons, and hopefully, I'll be facing Newcastle as a Gloucester player in the Premiership next season."
Gloucester boss Nigel Davies battled hard to convince Toulon's Kennedy and Leicester's Parling to make the Kingsholm switch.
Former Irish lock Kennedy had seriously considered returning to England, but in the end decided against a move to Gloucester.
England mainstay Parling was hugely impressed with rugby director Davies and his vision for Gloucester's future.
But Leicester were able to convince Parling his international ambitions would be best-served by staying put.
Gloucester boss Davies has long been a fan of savvy tight-five competitor Hudson's leadership and lineout qualities though, and is excited about securing his services for next season.
Davies explained: "I'm delighted James has agreed to join Gloucester.
"He's a proven Premiership performer and very shrewd lineout operator.
"He's also very mobile for a big man, which will suit the way we try to play the game.
"He will also bring experience and leadership qualities to the squad, which will be valuable assets.
"I'm very much looking forward to him arriving for pre-season."
At 6ft 7in and 17st 12lbs, Sutton Coldfield-born Hudson is an imposing lineout presence – but he is also boasts a very accomplished tactical approach to set-piece play.
In many respects the former Solihull School pupil is the ideal man to fill Kingsholm stalwart Brown's lineout coordination boots in the heat of top-flight action.
Bristol-born Brown was shattered by his shoulder injury that ended his stellar Premiership career comfortably before time in December.
The 33-year-old has formed up part of Gloucester's backroom staff since learning of that hammer blow, continuing to help organise the Kingsholm club's lineout.
Still in the grip of his benefit year, Brown is hopeful of securing a more permanent role behind the scenes at Kingsholm next term, but nothing has yet been tied up.