Gloucester Rugby Club has completed the signing of French fly-half Ludovic Mercier on a three-year contract.
The 28 year-old, who played spent two seasons with Gloucester between 2001 and 2003, rejoins the Kingsholm club from French team Pau in the summer.
In the 2001/02 season Mercier became the only English-based player ever to score more than 500 points in competitive matches for his club in a season, finishing the Zurich Championship winning year with 508 points.
Commenting on www.gloucesterrugbyclub.com director of rugby Nigel Melville said: "Ludo doesn't need any introduction to anyone here at Kingsholm, we're well aware of his top-class ability and points scoring record."
Mercier completed the paperwork this week that will see him sign up at Gloucester at least until the summer of 2008.
"It's great news and is another piece of the plan confirmed for the 2005/06 season, following on from Mike Tindall, Patrice Collazo and Peter Richards, as well as some of the current players signing new contracts."
Mercier currently sits in 13th place in the all-time Zurich Premiership points scoring chart with 592 points.
The French stand-off has racked up 255 points during the current French season for Pau, with four games still to play.
Ludovic Mercier Profile: Position: Fly-half
Date of birth: 01.11.76
Previous clubs: Pau, Grenoble, Aurillac
Zurich Premiership record for Gloucester: 43 appearances and 592 points.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Exeter Chiefs, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reiterated that there are elements of Gloucester's game that are in good shape at present, that the performance against Bath was a step forward from Newcastle but that individual errors are costing the Cherry and Whites dear.
Centre Matt Scott, a try-scorer in Bayonne last weekend, insists that Gloucester are taking nothing for granted when they welcome Benetton Treviso to Kingsholm on Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm).