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."
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.
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.
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.
Having named an unchanged starting XV for the past three Aviva Premiership games, Gloucester Rugby ring the changes and retain only five players for Thursday's visit of Stade Rochelais in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 7:45pm).