Sharks' Marais heads to Gloucester
The 25-year-old will join the Cherry and Whites from the South African franchise the Sharks at the end of the current Super Rugby campaign.
Described by the franchise as a player 'destined for a big career', Marais was part of the South African U20 squad that won the World Rugby U20 Championship on home soil in 2012, before going on to make his Sharks debut that season in both the Currie Cup and then into Super Rugby.
Marais began the new Super Rugby season as the Sharks' first-choice hooker and impressed in the opening rounds with his work at the lineout, physicality around the field and prowess around the breakdown area.
Director of Rugby David Humphreys confirmed the exciting news of the capture of the hooker with his best years ahead of him.
"We're thrilled to confirm that Franco will be joining the club, he's a player that has captured a lot of attention in Super Rugby with his work at the set piece, and he is excited to be a part of what we're hoping to achieve here at Gloucester moving forward.
"Johan [Ackermann] is well aware of Franco's qualities as a player and as an individual, and the way he has been progressing in Super Rugby. We're delighted that he's going to come and join us at Kingsholm."