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."
Fly-half Billy Burns was named Man of the Match after the 35-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup victory over Stade Rochelais on Thursday evening, and was full of praise for all his team mates for the win after a short turnaround.
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.
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.