It has been a busy weekend of summer tour action with a couple of the present and future Gloucester Rugby squad in action across the globe.
New recruit Greig Laidlaw captained Scotland as they kicked off their North American tour with a hard-fought victory over USA in the heat in Houston.
Tries from Tim Visser, Stuart Hogg and a penalty try gave the tourists the victory in new Head Coach, Vern Cotter's opening game against the ever-competitive Eagles at the BBVA Compass Stadium.
Laidlaw was flawless from the tee, converting all three tries in the 24-6 victory and adding a penalty as the Scots began their tour, ahead of a tough test against Canada next week.
USA, with the Aviva Premiership based quartet of Chris Wyles and Hayden Smith (Saracens), Blaine Scully (Leicester Tigers) and Cam Dolan (Northampton Saints) in their starting line up made the tourists work for their win in the searing Texas heat but a strong Scottish squad will take plenty of confidence from their showing.
On Saturday, in Apia, Samoa, the Pacific Nations Cup kicked off and Sila Puafisi started for Tonga as they faced Samoa.
It was a dramatic afternoon, with Samoa naming a hugely powerful side packed with plenty of talent that ply their trade in Europe, but the visiting Tongans shocked the hosts to earn a draw at eighteen points apiece.
Tonga took the lead midway through the first half as neat hands through the back line allowed winger Otulea Katoa to sprint away out wide, a score which Latiume Fosita improved.
Samoa then hit back and in stunning style as winger Fautua Otto showed great pace to burst through the Tongan defence and outstrip the cover.
Tonga's determination throughout the game was rewarded before half time, Worcester Warriors scrum half Jeremy Sua'a dallied on the ball and his box kick was charged down by Josh Afu. The second row gathered to dive over and give the Tongan's a 7 point lead at the turnaround.
Tonga were in control of territory and the turnover count, this forced Samoa to bring on Northampton Saints' scrum half Kahn Fotuali'i and the half back gave them a controlling head in the humid conditions.
Samoan fly half Tusi Pisi then chipped over a penalty to reduce the deficit and then shortly after the hosts grabbed the lead and through a familiar face.
Good tempo and phase play allowed the ball to find the hands of captain David Lemi and the winger scuttled home with ease much to the delight of the Apia crowd and put the hosts into the lead.
Census Johnston was shown a yellow card by referee Wayne Barnes, after Exeter Chiefs wing Fetu'u Vainikolo burst through and Fosita leveled the scores at 15-15.
It was then the battle of the boot, with both Pisi and Fosita adding late penalties amongst the indiscipline to leave the final score at 18-18.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).