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.
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.