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."
Tom Savage delivered a Man of the Match performance against Exeter Chiefs on his birthday on Saturday evening. He spoke to GRTV after the game about the importance of the European Rugby Challenge Cup win.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester Rugby can confirm that their allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final against Edinburgh Rugby, taking place at The Stoop on Friday May 1st (kick off 7:45pm) is now officially sold out.
The Gloucester Rugby Ticket office can advise that the club's initial allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final has sold out. However, the club has secured an additional allocation of tickets from EPCR which will go on sale on Monday.
Following Saturday evening's exciting European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs, the Ticket Office at Kingsholm will be open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm for Club Members to purchase tickets for the Final.