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.
Speaking to the media following the 31-33 West Country Challenge Cup defeat to Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium, Director of Rugby David Humphreys was full of praise for his side's battling qualities in a bruising encounter but concerned about the injuries picked up.
The West Country Challenge Cup fixture against the Exeter Chiefs at the Memorial Stadium in Bristol on Saturday (kick off 3pm) will be Gloucester's last chance to work on things like new combinations says Director of Rugby, David Humphreys.
Speaking after the 30-21 West Country Challenge Cup defeat at Bath, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke of the improvements his team are making as preseason progresses but acknowledges that there is still work to do ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership.
Speaking to the local media ahead of Saturday's trip to Bath Rugby in the West Country Challenge Cup, front rower Nick Wood spoke of the hard work put in across the extended preseason and highlighted the competition for front row spots in the squad.
Gloucester have named a 30 man squad for the latest round of West Country Challenge Cup action against Bath on Saturday, with Director of Rugby David Humphreys stressing the need to keep an eye on player workload ahead of what will be a long, tough season.
Describing the 50-7 West Country Challenge Cup win over Bath on Sunday as a '...good hit out...', wing Charlie Sharples admitted that it had been a good opportunity to put into practice things that the squad have been trying out in training in recent weeks.
Speaking to the local media after the 50-7 victory over Bath Rugby on Sunday, David Humphreys was happy with his squad's effort, with the most important aspect being the game time earned by his players.
Gloucester make wholesale changes to the side that started at Exeter last Saturday as they prepare to take on Bath at the Memorial Stadium, Bristol on Sunday in the West Country Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm). The Director of Rugby told GRTV that the players are raring to go and that he's looking forward to seeing different combinations in action.
A late penalty from Exeter fly-half Will Hooley gave the Chiefs a narrow 33-31 West Country Challenge Cup win over a heroic Gloucester outfit in a bruising encounter at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday.
Gloucester Rugby will play their fourth and final West Country Challenge Cup fixture this weekend (Memorial Stadium, Bristol, 3pm) against the Exeter Chiefs, and have named a side featuring a host of first regulars.
On Wednesday evening, Gloucester Rugby duo Mark Atkinson and Tom Savage visited local rugby club Hardwicke and Quedgeley Harlequins RFC for the first session as part of the Gloucester Rugby in Local Clubs coaching initiative.