APO SATALA, the Army number eight and former Leeds Carnegie player, has signed a contract with Gloucester until the end of the season.
Although he will still be eligible for key Army matches, Satala has made a big impression during pre-season and in a number of A team games while he has been on trial at Kingsholm. He will sit on the bench against Newcastle in the Guinness Premiership tonight.
The Fijian sevens star made his Gloucester debut as a replacement against Glasgow in August and Gloucester's head coach Dean Ryan said: "We have been hugely impressed by Apo since his involvement with us.
"His skill set has been exposed and enhanced on the sevens circuit, he is a tremendous physical presence and has added a great deal to our squad in the short time he has been involved with us. I am looking forward to working with him for the rest of the season because what we have seen so far has been very exciting.
"We naturally have a lot of quality across our back row and Apo will only add to that. I would like to thank the Army for their co-operation in allowing this deal to happen."
Satala, who scored twice for Leeds last season against Bath in the Guinness Premiership, added: "To be given this opportunity with Gloucester is something I will relish and it is now up to me to work as hard as I can.
"It has been a great experience already - I am very fortunate to be involved with such a talented squad and I am desperate to contribute as much as I can from now until the end of the season."
As Gloucester prepare for their 39th game of the season, against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday, David Humphreys told the local media that this week has been all about getting the players mentally and physically ready after a tough game against Connacht last Sunday.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-32 victory over Connacht on Sunday, skipper Billy Twelvetrees explained that Gloucester had had to learn to be patient and cut out the errors to earn the win and progress to next weekend's final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
When the Gloucester Rugby squad and staff report for their first day of preseason training on Wednesday morning, they will be greeted with a new look training kit from XBlades Sports ready for the first sessions.
This Sunday, hop on your bicycle and join up with the Pied Piper Sportive to test out new challenging routes across the county with Gloucester Rugby's Kingsholm Stadium the start and finish of the ride.