JAKE BOER, Gloucester Rugby's South African-born flanker, has agreed a new one-year contract extension to remain at Kingsholm until 2007.
One of the most influential members of Dean Ryan's squad, Boer is re-establishing the sort of form that carried him to the Zurich Premiership player of the year award in 2003 - the same season he lifted the Powergen Cup with Gloucester - and the same campaign when he walked away with the Overseas Player of the Year award.
Arguably Gloucester's form back rower at present, Boer joined Gloucester in 2000 from London Irish and has since made 127 Premiership appearances with 20 tries for the club as well as enjoying a stint as captain.
"I love playing for Gloucester - I always have and always will," Boer said. "Last season was not the easiest for anyone involved with the club but I feel I am getting back to the form of a couple of season's ago.
"I don't think my effort and commitment has ever been in question and now I just want to concentrate on getting Gloucester as far up the Guinness Premiership as possible and continuing our quest in Europe.
"To have the security of another year is really pleasing and I just want to get on with the rest of the season now - I am delighted everything has been concluded."
Equally at home at number six or eight, Boer produced an outstanding performance against Leicester last weekend and Ryan added: "I am delighted Jake has signed for another year - at present he is our form back row forward.
"He has consistently made top-quality contributions and that is a very important factor with a lot of young players coming through behind.
"I think he is back to where he was a year or so a go when he was one of Gloucester's stand-out performers. He does the majority of his talking on the field and is hugely competitive which is why we want him around."
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.