GLOUCESTER Rugby have completed a revised contract with Hartpury College prop Jack Forster.
Originally on a one-year deal that expired next summer, head coach Dean Ryan has moved quickly to secure the services of the 18-year-old tighthead until June 2007 following a series of impressive displays in the Guinness A League.
Forster is in his first year of an Agriculture and Land Management degree at Hartpury after switching from Sale. He has already represented England at Under-16 and 18 level and is now a member of the Junior National Academy.
"We have already seen enough potential to know we want him around in the future," Ryan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk. "It was an opportunity for us to show confidence in him and now he has a great foundation from which to learn over the next two years."
Forster produced a rounded contribution during Gloucester's victory over Bristol on Monday night - scrummaging well, carrying possession and tackling effectively - to delight Ryan and Academy coach Carl Douglas.
And Forster added: "Obviously to get a contract was something I really wanted to do and to have done it so soon is fantastic. I just wanted to make an impact and to show people what I could do - in my rugby and my college course.
"I have got tremendous people to learn from like Phil Vickery and one-on-one sessions with Patrice Collazo and everything is going well for me at the club and the college."
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.