GLOUCESTER'S tear-away flanker Jake Boer has appealed to the conscience of the Kingsholm faithful to come out and support Mark Cornwell's Testimonial match.
The former club skipper and one of the most instantly recognisable and respected members of the Gloucester squad, the back row forward has told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk that Cornwell represents the soul of the club.
Gloucester will face Viadana at Kingsholm next Friday, August 26 - a game that is not free to season ticket holders - to complete their pre-season preparations in a fixture that represents the pinnacle of Cornwell's year of celebrations.
And Boer said: "I would ask supporters to take five minutes of their time to think about and appreciate what Mark has done for the club. Gloucester is a place where rugby means everything and that is why I hope they are aware of the importance of the game.
"Mark is a man who has given his body and soul to the game and Gloucester and that needs to be recognised by the fans. "To stay in any job for 10 years is an achievement but to stay at the same club as a professional rugby player for a decade is remarkable. He is a loyal servant and it's an admirable thing to have done.
"He has also bridged the gap between amateurism and professionalism and that has proved just how successful he has been - I hope people recognise that and come to the game."
Cornwell is only Gloucester's second ever player to be granted a Testimonial, following in the footsteps of legendary prop Andy Deacon, who became the first ever the year before he retired. With Deacon's retirement and Chris Fortey's switch to Worcester, the number of Gloucester-born players within Dean Ryan's squad is dwindling.
Only Cornwell, Adam Eustace, Jack Adams, Brad Davies, Ryan Lamb and Andy Hazell are from the city, which makes the achievement even more remarkable.
"I have played a lot of games with Mark and although his banter can get a bit annoying at times, he brings a tremendous spirit to the squad," Boer added.
"Hopefully he will be appreciated in his game - it's what he deserves."
The ticket office is open from Monday to Wednesday 9am-5pm, Thursday, 9am-6.30pm and Friday 9am to 3.30. For ticket information, contact 0871 871 8781 or visit wwww.gloucesterrugby.co.uk.
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.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
Gloucester centre Billy Twelvetrees praised his side's character after their comeback win against Bristol on Saturday. The Cherry and Whites overcame a 6-0 half time deficit to eventually win the game 26-18 and secure a bonus point victory.
Looking to try a new sport? Look no further than Walking Rugby as thanks to Gloucester Rugby you can come along and try out the fast-growing sport at taster sessions across the county, starting this Wednesday.
Gloucester return to European Rugby Challenge Cup action on Thursday evening with the visit of Stade Rochelais to Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm). Early Bird ticket prices are available until 6:30pm on matchday.