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."
Number eight Ben Morgan admitted that the 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol on Friday evening hadn't been pretty at times, but that the win was based on everyone in the squad remaining united and working for each other.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
In the aftermath of the Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell was able to look forward to this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues (Kingsholm, kick off 8:05pm).