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.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
The Gloucester Rugby Ticket office can advise that the club's initial allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final has sold out. However, the club has secured an additional allocation of tickets from EPCR which will go on sale on Monday.
Following Saturday evening's exciting European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs, the Ticket Office at Kingsholm will be open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm for Club Members to purchase tickets for the Final.
Gloucester Rugby qualified for their first European final since 2006 as they defeated the in-form Exeter Chiefs by 30 points to 19 in a thrilling semi-final at Kingsholm on Saturday evening. The club photographer caught the best of the action.
Recent meetings between these two teams have often been thrillers, and this was no exception. It went down to the final few minutes, but Gloucester produced the goods when it mattered to qualify for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, beating Exeter 30-19.