South African hooker Franco Marais will return to English Premiership Rugby side Gloucester on a short-term deal until the end of the season.
The Gallagher Premiership, which is expected to restart on August 14, had been extended due to the disruptions occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Franco will re-join the squad for training on Monday, as preparations continue for the eagerly anticipated restart,” Gloucester said in a statement.
In June, it was announced that Marais will leave Gloucester to join Japanese Top League side NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes. However, the 27-year-old will now play for Gloucester until the end of the season amid reports that a shortage of players in his position due to injuries prompted a deal to re-sign him.
“The 27-year-old hooker has previously made 35 appearances for the Cherry & Whites and he will now look to add to that tally before heading to the Red Hurricanes in the Japanese Top League at the conclusion of the 2019-20 Gallagher Premiership campaign.”
Marais was part of an exodus of South Africans from Gloucester this year with Coach Johan Ackermann, Rugby World Cup-winning lock Franco Mostert and former Springbok and Lions prop Ruan Dreyer all leaving Kingsholm.
Gloucester is ninth in the 12-team table after 13 games and is slated to face Worcester Warriors on August 15.