PITCH improvements at Kingsholm have already begun ahead of the 2008-09 season.
The last game on the old surface was the Barbarians' fixture against Ireland last Tuesday and since then Gloucester's ground staff have been hard at work preparing the stadium before next season.
"The top layer of grass has been removed and additional drainage has been installed to prepare the pitch for the summer re-seeding schedule this summer" said Sean Roberts, Gloucester Rugby's operation manager.
"We will remove around 12mm of turf, fertilize and re-seed over the coming three days and we will see growth across the field over the next 14 days. This will strengthen the pitch by removing the weaker annual meadow grass.
"Additional drainage has also been installed closer to the C&G Grandstand to assist in removing excessive holding water since the pitch moved last season. This again will help keep the surface in better condition over the course of the forthcoming season."
Last season, Gloucester held additional fixtures for the Barbarians, the European Challenge Cup final between Bath and Worcester and two England Under-20 internationals.
"The re-development of the Grandstand has been a major success and meant we have attracted additional games to the fixture list," said stadium manager Dave Balmer.
"That means the surface comes under greater scrutiny and potentially more damage. Although the season has only recently finished the deadlines are pretty tight to ensure we are ready for the start of next season.
"Work has gone well so far and although we are really happy with the surface at Kingsholm, we are always looking for improvements."
Tom Savage delivered a Man of the Match performance against Exeter Chiefs on his birthday on Saturday evening. He spoke to GRTV after the game about the importance of the European Rugby Challenge Cup win.
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.
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.