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."
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees praised his side's character after their comeback win against Bristol on Saturday. The Cherry and Whites overcame a 6-0 half time deficit to eventually win the game 26-18 and secure a bonus point victory.
Looking to try a new sport? Look no further than Walking Rugby as thanks to Gloucester Rugby you can come along and try out the fast-growing sport at taster sessions across the county, starting this Wednesday.
Gloucester return to European Rugby Challenge Cup action on Thursday evening with the visit of Stade Rochelais to Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm). Early Bird ticket prices are available until 6:30pm on matchday.