Leicester Tigers: Freddie Burns heads five new signings

Freddie Burns

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has confirmed the signing of five players, including Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns.

The 24-year-old England international moves to Welford Road as a replacement for Toulouse-bound Toby Flood.

Leicester have also signed utility back Christian Loamanu, hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini and flanker Robert Barbieri.

Castres fly-half Seremaia Bai, 35, also joins the Premiership semi-finalists.

Bai will compete for the Tigers number 10 shirt alongside Owen Williams and Burns, who scored 986 points in 134 appearances for Gloucester and will be looking to add to his three England caps on this summer's tour of New Zealand.

"Everyone wants young English players,," Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester. "Well, I've got one of the hottest talents at 10 in the English game.

"When he's as good as he can be, he's as good as anybody. He's coming to one of the toughest environments, so let's see how he gets on."

Burns's departure from Gloucester, where he came through the youth ranks, was confirmed in January after he was linked with the Tigers.

"He's had a difficult season for lots of reasons and he's got a little bit of adjusting to do, getting used to what we do and learning that it's about the team and not the individual, but he's a fantastic player, a fantastic talent," said Cockerill.

"Along with Owen Williams, he'll be really good for us. He's come to fight for his spot and if he plays better than Owen, he'll play."

Ghiraldini, and Canadian-born Barbieri, both 29, are Italy internationals, while Tonga-born Loamanu, 28, has played for Japan and they will increase competition for places as Leicester rebuild after missing out on the Premiership final for the first time since 2004.

Contract details of all four players have yet to be disclosed by the club.