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Aviva Premiership
Gloucester add centre ahead of next season
ESPN Staff
March 25, 2014
Mark Atkinson has joined Gloucester © Getty Images
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Gloucester have continued to build for the 2014-15 season with the signing of Mark Atkinson from the Bedford Blues.

Atkinson, 24, can play at either centre or fly-half and coach Nigel Davies is looking forward to utilising his versatility. "Mark's one of the stand out players in the Championship and, if you speak to anyone who watches much rugby at that level, I'm sure they'll agree," Davies said. "He's 6"4' inches tall, 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."

Gloucester have recruited well from the Championship in recent seasons with Rob Cook and Sione Kalamafoni making a seamless transition from England's second tier to the Premiership and Davies hopes Atkinson will do the same.

"When you look at players who come from the Championship, you're looking for three or four things which set that player apart from everyone else. Certainly with the guys that we've signed from that level of rugby, we see that on a regular basis.

"Obviously a big part of the process is to meet these players and establish the type of character they are, their commitment levels, their competitiveness and their desire to succeed. Mark ticks all those boxes. He's not coming here as cover, he's coming to Gloucester to challenge for a place."

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