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."
Gloucester will field a reshuffled side against the Ospreys in the LV= Cup this weekend, but Backs & Attack Coach Nick Walshe stressed that it's a great opportunity for everyone on duty on Saturday and that maintaining the recent winning run is very important.
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.