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."
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees told GRTV after the win in Brive that the game could have been a tough one to get up for, but that his Gloucester team mates did themselves proud on the night and got a big result.
Reflecting on the 31-20 victory in Brive on Thursday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys said that clinching a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final was the overall aim and duly achieved.
Gloucester may have already clinched a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys wants his side to finish the pool stages on a winning note in Brive on Thursday evening.
Speaking after Saturday's win, James Hudson was happy to record a bonus-point win against a hugely physical Oyonnax side as Gloucester secured their passage into the European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter Finals
Billy Burns was a try scorer on his first European start for Gloucester and, speaking after the game, admitted that it was good to get the five points although there are still things to work on before the trip to Brive.
Gloucester Rugby have added to their front row strength in depth for next season with the signings of Paul Doran-Jones, Paddy McAllister and Nicky Thomas from Harlequins, Aurillac and the Ospreys respectively.
Connacht's 30-20 win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening means that they are the third best placed runners up and will come to Kingsholm for the quarter-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup in early April.