ENGLAND Under-19 hooker Ross McMillan will join his red rose team-mate Jack Forster at Kingsholm next season after agreeing a two-year contract at Gloucester.
Gloucester beat off the advances of a number of top Premiership clubs to secure the services of McMillan (19), who is regarded as one of the brightest prospects in the country.
He will join some of the most gifted youngsters in the game next season when he teams up with his England front row colleague Forster.
"It's a huge move for me on and off the field," McMillan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk. "It will be the first time I will have been involved in a fully professional club and it is something I am massively looking forward to.
"I had quite a few offers from other clubs, both in the Premiership and National One, but my decision was swayed because I know how Gloucester have developed their youngsters in the last few months and I want to play a part in that too.
"Dean Ryan is establishing one of the most talented squads in the country with a lot of players in their early 20s or even younger and the vision he presented to me was very exciting and I want to be a part of it.
"Although I am coming to learn from hugely experienced players like Mefin Davies and Olivier Azam, I want to continue my development and hopefully make an impact - I think this move has come at just the right time for me.
"I know Jack Forster very well and we have spent a long time on the phone talking about Gloucester and it will be great to hopefully play alongside him."
McMillan is currently at Sheffield Hallam University but is ready to defer his degree in PE and Youth Sport to follow his career at Gloucester.
He scored the winning try for England Under-18s in the AER final against France last season and has been a key member of the Nottingham side in National One this season.
Head coach Ryan, who blooded a host of youngsters during Gloucester's victorious European Challenge Cup campaign, including Ryan Lamb, Anthony Allen and Forster, added: "I think Ross's signing is just a continuation of the process we started last season by playing and recruiting some of the most talented youngsters in the country.
"These players have shown they are the future of the club and I am delighted Ross wants to be a part of that. There were other clubs out there who were also keen to sign him but I think it shows what we want to achieve and how we want to achieve it that Ross chose to join Gloucester."
Speaking with the local media before the Gloucester team set off on the long trip north to Newcastle, Director of Rugby David Humphreys discussed his team selection and stated that Friday night's meeting will be a challenging one.
Speaking to the local media on Thursday, Matt Kvesic was looking forward to the trip to Newcastle Falcons, and the captain is looking to lead from the front with plenty for the Cherry and Whites to work on.
Gloucester saw a 12-0 lead overturned by Harlequins on Friday night as the visitors ran out 22-15 winners. After the game, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke about missed opportunities on the night.
Speaking to the local media on Thursday, James Hudson explained his excitement for tonight's game with Harlequins and that he is backing the Cherry and White squad to impress during the next set of Aviva Premiership games.
Despite a dream start at Kingston Park, scoring a try after just 26 seconds, Gloucester couldn't capitalise against a dogged Newcastle Falcons side. Too many penalties were conceded and too many errors made as the Falcons prevailed 20-10.
There are three changes to Gloucester Rugby's starting line-up for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Newcastle Falcons. Steve McColl will make his first Premiership start for the club.