Gloucester Rugby Club received a big boost ahead of Saturday's Zurich Wild Card final when four of its young stars signed new contracts with the Kingsholm club.
Back-row forward Luke Narraway, fly-half Brad Davies, hooker Rob Elloway and second row forward Jonathan Pendlebury have all signed new two-year contracts as the West Country club continues its recruitment for the new season.
21 year-old Narraway has made three Premiership starts and a handful of replacement appearances this season, including a vital try away at Newcastle in February to seal a 27-27 draw and a try-bonus point.
Davies was runner-up in the Gloucester season ticket holders' young player of the year award, and has made eight Premiership appearances this season.
The 22 year-old, who came on as a match-winning replacement and scored a last minute drop goal in the 17-16 victory over Bath at Kingsholm in February, started last weekend's Wild Card semi-final win at full-back.
Elloway has spent three years in the Gloucester Academy and the new two-year deal will see him complete five years at the club.
The 21 year-old hooker has already been involved in some big games, when he was on the bench last season for the Heineken Cup clash with Munster and this season in a European head-to-head against Cardiff Blues.
Pendlebury joined the Club shortly after the start of the season on a one-year loan agreement from Rotherham, that saw him train with Gloucester and play for the 'A' side, as well as represent Rotherham in their Division One campaign.
The 22 year-old is a former England U21 international, and will now be a full-time member of the first team squad at Gloucester.
Carl Douglas, the Club's Academy manager, has worked with all four of the players in recent seasons.
Talking to www.gloucesterrugbyclub.com Douglas said: "It's a good way to complete the first three-year cycle of the Academy programme, in its current format, with Luke, Brad and Rob coming through the system.
"It's great that we've got players who have graduated into the senior squad, and I'm sure this will continue.
"We identified a need for a young second row forward, and with Jonathan Pendlebury we've got one of the best young players in his position in the division."
Commenting on www.gloucesterrugbyclub.com Narraway, who is set to start against Saracens on Saturday, said: "The highlight of my season has been two-fold. Just being involved with the first team on a regular basis has been a big step-up, and then there's my first start against Newcastle at Kingston Park, when I scored the fourth try."
The former England U21 back-row player added: "I knew when the season started that I didn't have any representative age-group rugby to play this year, and the main target was to play well and take my chances when they came with the Gloucester team. With the last game of the season at Twickenham on Saturday, it's a special game to end on."
Talking to www.gloucesterrugbyclub.com former St Peter's School pupil Brad Davies said: "All I've ever wanted to do is play for Gloucester Rugby Club. I never wanted to do anything else, so to sign up for two more years is just great.
"The highlight of the season has to be my first start against Leicester at Welford Road in November. They could have gone with other options and they had faith in me to play against one of the best teams in Europe."
Many supporters will remember Davies' last minute drop goal against Bath in the Premiership, and looking back at that moment the young fly-half said: "The drop goal against Bath was great, but it was just a one-off moment as a replacement, and I want to be involved more that just that.
"This season has been a good experience for me. I realise how tough it is in the Premiership. If I want to play regularly I've got to improve and be more consistent. And that's what I'm looking forward to."
Academy hooker Rob Elloway was delighted to sign a new contract and is looking forward to continuing his work with Mefin Davies and Olivier Azam.
"I've taken a lot of skills from both Mef (Mefin Davies) and Zed (Olivier Azam). Mef's got a great throw and I've been working with him on that, and I've been working with Zed as he's so good around the field.
"I want to take the best bits from both of them and put it into my game. It's great for the Club that it's got a good number of young players coming through. You only have to look at what Woody (Nick Wood) has achieved this season, to see what's possible."
Commenting on www.gloucesterrugbyclub.com second row forward Jonathan Pendlebury said: "When Rotherham got relegated I saw it as a chance to get some constant senior rugby going. I wanted to get back in amongst it and win a place in the Rotherham side.
"I spoke to Carl Douglas (Gloucester's Academy manager) and we came to a joint agreement between Gloucester and Rotherham.
"It worked really well and I played a lot of rugby, with some weekends playing Saturday for Rotherham, then for Gloucester on a Monday night in the Zurich 'A' League.
"I wanted to push hard for a permanent contract with Gloucester. I saw it as a bit of a 'make or break' season for me, and I'm pleased with the way it's gone.
"I really wanted to earn a place in the Gloucester first team squad and that was my mentality when I was going into the Zurich 'A' League games.
"It's been great working with Brownie (Alex Brown), Pasty (Mark Cornwell), and Dean (Ryan). There's so much that goes into preparing for the games, and I tried to take that on board and put it into practice when I was going back up to Rotherham."
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Speaking to GRTV after Saturday's 39-30 Aviva Premiership win over Sale, Mark Atkinson admitted that the performance wasn't perfect but that the team's character shone through in a game that could easily have slipped away.
Monday evening saw Freddie Clarke in A League action against Exeter, Saturday saw him make his Aviva Premiership debut. And both games resulted in wins! Freddie spoke to GRTV after the 39-30 win over Sale.
Speaking to the local media this week, back row Ross Moriarty spoke of the squad's determination to cut out mistakes, and get a composed performance in as they host Sale Sharks at Kingsholm on Saturday.
Billy Burns will get the headlines for his 16 point haul, but it was a team of heroes who went to La Rochelle and fought like demons to secure a magnificent 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win on Saturday evening.
Gloucester Rugby welcome back scrum-halves Willi Heinz and Greig Laidlaw to the matchday squad as they make five changes to their starting line-up for Saturday evening's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final against Stade Rochelais.
Charlie Beckett and Tom Hudson have been regulars in the Gloucester United side that's competed in the Aviva Premiership A League this season and are hoping to be involved in the semi-final against Wasps on Monday evening at Kingsholm, kick off 7:30pm.