Gloucester Rugby are delighted to announce that England international number eight Luke Narraway has signed a two-year extension to his current contract that keeps him at Kingsholm until June 2012.
The 26-year-old, who joined Gloucester's academy straight from Kings School in Worcester, has made more than 100 appearances for the club since his debut away at Leeds in 2003.
Having represented England at U18, U21 and Saxons levels, Narraway made his full England debut against Wales at Twickenham in the 2008 Six Nations Championship. On the summer tour of New Zealand later that year, he confirmed his status as one of the country's leading back row forwards with a series of excellent displays, and has now won 7 caps in total.
Head Coach Bryan Redpath admitted that Narraway's is a key signing for the club:
"We're very pleased that Luke has committed to Gloucester as, on his day, he is one of the best number eights in the game."
"Luke's played all his rugby here and understands what it takes to be a Gloucester player. His challenge now is to continue to develop his game and deliver consistency so he can achieve his club and international ambitions, and we'll work hard to help him achieve this."
Narraway himself admitted that interest from elsewhere was flattering but that it wasn't a difficult decision to commit to Gloucester.
"The spirit in the squad is probably the best I've known since I've been at Gloucester, and the results over the last few weeks show that we're moving in the right direction," he said.
"Gloucester is a special place to play rugby - the stadium, the supporters, training facilities and off-field set-up; it's the whole package."
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
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.
Gloucester's much changed side had to overcome conceding an early try on Thursday evening, but responded in style to down Stade Rochelais by 35 points to 14 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a mouthwatering return fixture next weekend.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.