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."
Speaking to the local media this week ahead of the Bath Rugby game, Head Coach Laurie Fisher stressed that the fundamental shape of Gloucester's game is in good shape but that the Cherry and Whites have to look after the ball better and make more of their scoring opportunities.
Skipper for the day Willi Heinz faced the cameras after the 13-18 home loss to Newcastle and expressed real frustration at not being able to back up last week's win at Sale, calling it a performance he and his team-mates are not proud of.
Speaking after the game, Charlie Sharples described it as 'the win that has eluded us.' The winger stressed that Gloucester had stayed positive after the first couple of weeks of the Aviva Premiership season and the 26-13 victory over Sale was a result of that focus.
Gloucester Rugby picked up their first win of the new Aviva Premiership season on Friday night, easing to a 26-13 win on the road at Sale Sharks. Director of Rugby David Humphreys was full of praise for his players on the night.
Greig Laidlaw is back to skipper Gloucester Rugby in Saturday's Aviva Premiership derby game against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm. James Hook will make his first start of the season at full-back and Billy Twelvetrees will make his 100th competitive appearance for the club.