Adam Balding has completed a new deal at Gloucester
ADAM BALDING, Gloucester Rugby's club captain, has become the latest member of Dean Ryan's squad to pledge his future to Kingsholm.
The number eight has sealed a new two-year contract extension that will keep him at Gloucester until June 2008.
He joins youngsters Olly Morgan, Mark Foster and Nick Wood in finalising long-term deals at Kingsholm this season.
"To be honest with you, I am just thrilled," Balding, told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk. "It seems so long ago since my Leicester days and I like to think I have moved on to bigger and better things.
"I am so pleased with how everything is going and just glad I have the chance to play my part in Gloucester's future for another two years.
"My ambition is to push myself even harder and to play a big part in the team during 2006. My job now is to contribute to the success of this team."
Head coach Dean Ryan added: "Adam is one of our senior players and it is great to secure him to the club long-term.
"He is a player who leads by example, is supremely competitive and is somebody we want to work with for a long time. I am really pleased it has been concluded so quickly.
"To have someone of Adam's ability at the club is a major boost for us."
Balding, who signed from Leicester two years ago, fractured a cheekbone in three places on the opening day of the season against Worcester Warriors.
But the 26-year-old has recovered to resume his position on the back of the Gloucester scrum. His form, attitude and sheer commitment were the standout features during Gloucester's late charge last season that ended in play-off disappointment against Saracens at Twickenham.
However, he was rewarded for his efforts by being made club captain at the start of this season and has made 34 appearances with four tries in his Gloucester career.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees told GRTV after the win in Brive that the game could have been a tough one to get up for, but that his Gloucester team mates did themselves proud on the night and got a big result.
Reflecting on the 31-20 victory in Brive on Thursday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys said that clinching a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final was the overall aim and duly achieved.
Gloucester may have already clinched a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys wants his side to finish the pool stages on a winning note in Brive on Thursday evening.
Speaking after Saturday's win, James Hudson was happy to record a bonus-point win against a hugely physical Oyonnax side as Gloucester secured their passage into the European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter Finals
Billy Burns was a try scorer on his first European start for Gloucester and, speaking after the game, admitted that it was good to get the five points although there are still things to work on before the trip to Brive.
Gloucester Rugby have added to their front row strength in depth for next season with the signings of Paul Doran-Jones, Paddy McAllister and Nicky Thomas from Harlequins, Aurillac and the Ospreys respectively.
Connacht's 30-20 win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening means that they are the third best placed runners up and will come to Kingsholm for the quarter-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup in early April.