AKAPUSI QERA, the hard-hitting Fijian openside flanker, has become the latest Gloucester player to commit himself to the club by agreeing a two-year contract extension at Kingsholm.
The 23-year-old - one of the players of the 2007 Rugby World Cup - has taken the Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup by storm since his arrival at Kingsholm in October with a series of eye-catching performances.
Qera joins team-mates including Ryan Lamb, Olly Morgan and Alasdair Strokosch who have all recently agreed new long-term deals with the current Guinness Premiership leaders.
"I've been made to feel really welcome by everyone associated with the club since I arrived and I'm very happy to sign up for another two years," Qera said.
"Working every day with such a strong squad is a real challenge but I know I have the ability to play a big role in what we are trying to achieve here at Gloucester.
"Kingsholm is a fantastic place to play rugby and I've been really pleased to force my way into the side and show the fans what I can do."
Qera joined Gloucester in the summer from National Division One side Pertemps Bees after a stand-out season in which he scored a remarkable 16 tries from loose forward.
He went on to help Fiji to a quarter-final appearance at the Rugby World Cup in France with three tries in four appearances.
Qera's new deal with the club will keep him at Kingsholm until at least June 2010.
"I think it is pretty obvious to people who watch Gloucester regularly that Akapusi is a special talent," acknowledged head coach Dean Ryan.
"He offers us different options - he is a line-breaker, a destructive tackler and an athlete who is also blessed with tremendous pace.
"To get our outstanding young players like Q, Ryan Lamb and Alasdair Strokosch onto long-term deals is a massive bonus to us in terms of stability as we move forward.
"There is a lot Q still has to learn, but he is in the right environment at Gloucester that we can support him in making sure he achieves his potential in the game."
Speaking to the media following the 31-33 West Country Challenge Cup defeat to Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium, Director of Rugby David Humphreys was full of praise for his side's battling qualities in a bruising encounter but concerned about the injuries picked up.
The West Country Challenge Cup fixture against the Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium in Bristol on Saturday (kick off 3pm) will be Gloucester's last chance to work on things like new combinations says Director of Rugby, David Humphreys.
Speaking after the 30-21 West Country Challenge Cup defeat at Bath, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke of the improvements his team are making as preseason progresses but acknowledges that there is still work to do ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership.
Speaking to the local media ahead of Saturday's trip to Bath Rugby in the West Country Challenge Cup, front rower Nick Wood spoke of the hard work put in across the extended preseason and highlighted the competition for front row spots in the squad.
Gloucester have named a 30 man squad for the latest round of West Country Challenge Cup action against Bath on Saturday, with Director of Rugby David Humphreys stressing the need to keep an eye on player workload ahead of what will be a long, tough season.
Describing the 50-7 West Country Challenge Cup win over Bath on Sunday as a '...good hit out...', wing Charlie Sharples admitted that it had been a good opportunity to put into practice things that the squad have been trying out in training in recent weeks.
Speaking to the local media after the 50-7 victory over Bath Rugby on Sunday, David Humphreys was happy with his squad's effort, with the most important aspect being the game time earned by his players.
Gloucester make wholesale changes to the side that started at Exeter last Saturday as they prepare to take on Bath at the Memorial Stadium, Bristol on Sunday in the West Country Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm). The Director of Rugby told GRTV that the players are raring to go and that he's looking forward to seeing different combinations in action.