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 to the local media this week, back row flanker Jacob Rowan said that he is excited for the challenge at the Ricoh Arena this Sunday, and added that the players know the responsibility is theirs to deliver against the league leaders.
Ben Morgan was on media duty this week, and as Gloucester prepare for Sunday's trip to Wasps, the number eight is looking forward to see Gloucester go toe-to-toe with another of the Aviva Premiership's front runners.
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.
Following the conclusion of the Aviva Premiership game against Harlequins on Saturday, it'll be the turn of the Gloucester-Hartpury Women to grace the Kingsholm turf when they take on Worcester Ladies IIs.
Westbury-on-Severn RFC was the host on Friday as the Gloucester Rugby Community Department joined pupils from schools in the Forest of Dean for a tag rugby festival as part of the Aviva Tackling Numbers delivery.
Last Friday night saw Gloucester Rugby Head of Community Adam Balding present a cheque for £7082.82 to the Royal British Legion as a result of a series of fundraising during the Remembrance Period in November.
Gloucester battled bravely against Wasps on Sunday, but it was a case of taking chances at the Ricoh Arena. Gloucester didn't make the most of theirs while Wasps did, and that proved to be the difference.
Gloucester were competitive for long periods at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday afternoon, but were left to rue a host of missed scoring opportunities throughout as Wasps hit back to earn a 35-22 Aviva Premiership win.
Gloucester's Ciaran Knight made his first start at tighthead prop, Henry Walker made his first appearance as a second half replacement and Alex Seville also featured as England U20s made it three from three in the U20s Six Nations with a 46-0 win over Italy in Darlington on Friday night.