Friday, 15th May 2020 @ 16:00
Harlequins is pleased to announce the re-signing of experienced hooker Joe Gray.
Gray, who has made more than 150 appearances for Harlequins, re-joined the Club on a loan deal from London rivals Saracens in January, but has now penned a permanent deal at The Stoop.
The experienced front rower first joined Quins from Northampton Saints in 2010 and was part of the squad that won the 2012 Premiership title, having lifted the European Challenge Cup with the Club the previous year.
Capped by England against the All Blacks in 2014 at the Eden Park in Auckland, Gray, 31, provided much-needed injury cover earlier this season. The Club is thrilled to have the Quins stalwart sign a permanent deal.
After confirming his contract extension, Gray said: “It was fantastic to be able to return to Quins earlier this season after a stint away. To be able to sign another, permanent deal now is even better. The Club has always held a special place in my heart, and always will.
“It's a really exciting time to be back with Quins, we have a great mix of youth and experience in the squad and I believe we can really challenge for silverware. It's a great group who have been so welcoming since I have been back, from all the players and coaches especially, led by Gussy, who has been amazing since I have arrived.”
Harlequins’ Head of Rugby Paul Gustard said: “We are delighted to announce the permanent second coming of ‘Grayser’ to the club.
“Joe is a proven operator at the elite level, a true Harlequin and a real positive influence within the squad as an upbeat character and all-round good guy. It was clear to me how much he was respected and how loved he was the first day he came back to the training ground by the reaction of the playing group and the support staff.
“He is a committed and talented player who has demonstrated tenacity and perseverance throughout his career battling back from injury. He has been part of multiple winning teams and environments, which is a testament to his abilities.
“In professional sport it is important to have a strong blend of experience and youthful belligerence, and players like Grayser are critical for the health of a club.
“We are really happy Joe has re-signed as we look to kick on and build a competitive squad to be challenging for silverware on a regular basis. We know he has a lot to offer us, not just on the field, and I am sure our fans, like the players and staff, will be delighted Joe has committed to the club. Welcome home, Joe."
During the lockdown enforced by the current coronavirus pandemic, Gray has undertaken the daunting challenge of completing 200 burpees a day in less than 20 minutes for charity for the duration of his lockdown.
Gray has embarked upon this challenge in memory of his father, who passed away in March after a battle with bowel cancer. Last week, Gray became an official ambassador for Bowel Cancer UK.
Raising over £3,700 to date, Gray is way ahead of his original £500 target. To donate to Gray’s fundraiser and learn more about his story, click here.
Are you spending more time in front of a screen? Try this meditation, supported by player welfare partner Charles Stanley