ALASDAIR DICKINSON has followed his former Edinburgh colleague Alasdair Strokosch by signing a new contract at Gloucester Rugby.
The Scotland international prop has completed terms on a new one-year deal for the 2008-09 season following his arrival at Kingsholm from Edinburgh last summer.
Dickinson made his first Guinness Premiership start for Gloucester against Leeds on Saturday following a series of powerful cameo performances from the bench.
The dynamic ball carrier and explosive runner has been capped at every level by Scotland and he has three full Scotland caps - his last appearance was against Italy in the 2008 Six Nations Championship.
In total, the 24-year-old has made nine appearances so far for Gloucester this season and said: "I am pushing myself and testing myself all the time in what is the strongest squad of players I have ever been involved in.
"I am thriving in the environment that has been created at Gloucester and I am positive the best is yet to come from me. There are some outstanding props in the squad and it is my job to push them as hard as I can to gain more exposure in the Guinness Premiership.
"This contract allows me to do that - the move has been fantastic for me because it has speeded up my development. Although I am still learning, there is plenty more to come from me and I look forward to be able to contribute as much as I can for Gloucester this season and next.
"It is a great place to play rugby, the success of the club dominates the whole city and that makes it very special to be a part of."
Gloucester's head coach Dean Ryan added: "Dicko has got huge potential and I think over the next 12 months we will start to see that emerge even more. He has a tremendous skill set, is quick, strong and mobile and is a real talent for the future.
"We are always looking for emerging players and I believe that Alasdair is one of those. He has time on his side to develop, is already an international and it is our job to get the best out of him. I am really pleased he has completed this deal for another year."
Speaking after the 37-8 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Benetton Treviso, James Hook admitted that the Italian side made things tough for Gloucester at times but that the Cherry and Whites are happy to take the bonus point win and turn their focus to Northampton next week.
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.