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.
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.
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.
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).
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.