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."
Tom Marshall scored his first Gloucester try in the 31-23 win over Saracens on Friday evening and was named Man of the Match. Talking to GRTV, he praised the forwards for setting the tone on the night.
Matt Scott was on media duty this week, and the Scottish international spoke about the benefit of having a full week of training with his club mates and the determination to get back to performing well against Saracens this Friday evening.
After the disappointment of last weekend's performance at Leicester, Director of Rugby David Humphreys told GRTV that he expects a big response from Gloucester in Friday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Saracens (kick off 7:45pm).
Gloucester travel to Tigers this Saturday in good spirits, and fly half Billy Burns is looking forward to testing himself in one of the toughest environments in the league as the Cherry and White hunt vital points as attention returns to the Aviva Premiership
After a good run of recent results, Gloucester will travel to take on Leicester in a good frame of mind according to Director of Rugby David Humphreys, but are well aware of the challenge that lies in wait.
Sunday saw Gloucester Rugby host the Land Rover Cup at Dean Close School in Cheltenham, and it was Tewkesbury and Old Pats who will represent the club at Twickenham in the U11s and U12s categories respectively.
As part of its commitment to player welfare, The Rugby Players' Association (RPA) has today officially launched #LiftTheWeight, a new campaign that aims to help remove the stigma surrounding mental health issues and offer the necessary tools and support to enable our members to enjoy a healthy and fulfilling life, both on the field and off it.