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.
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
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.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).