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."
Gloucester Rugby hooker Richard Hibbard spoke to the local media this week as the Cherry and Whites prepare to face Bath Rugby in the Aviva Premiership. The Welshman is ready to bounce back at The Rec.
Speaking to the local media about the local derby against Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys acknowledged that it will be a tough encounter but hugely exciting at the same time and one the squad are looking forward to.
A visibly disappointed Billy Twelvetrees admitted that it was a very sombre Gloucester dressing room as a last minute try and conversion condemned the Cherry and Whites to an 18-19 defeat against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
A disappointed Tom Savage told GRTV, after the 18-19 defeat at home to the Leicester Tigers, that the whole Gloucester team had put in a fantastic effort, but just couldn't find the extra one or two percent necessary to put away a top side.
Speaking after the narrow loss to Leicester Tigers on Saturday afternoon, David Humphreys says despite there being a lot of good in Gloucester's performance, he rued the failure to close the game out, as well as thanking the home support
Kiwi second row Jeremy Thrush is thoroughly enjoying his time in Cherry and White so far, and this weekend the Leicester Tigers are the visitors to Kingsholm, and the All Black is massively excited about the challenge.
After two wins in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, securing a home quarter-final, David Humphreys told the local media this week that Gloucester are coming into Saturday's game in good physical shape having rotated the squad. However, he and the squad are prepared for a tough encounter against the Tigers.
Speaking to GRTV after the 14-11 win in Zebre on Saturday, Bill Meakes acknowledged that Zebre had forced Gloucester to dig very deep to earn the win and made a point of thanking the tremendous travelling support.
Speaking after the 14-11 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre in Parma, Scrum Coach Trevor Woodman admitted that Gloucester hadn't been at their best against a very tough opponent, but had just enough about them to earn the win.
It's almost four years since Gloucester won a Premiership game at the Rec against Bath. However, they got that monkey off their back on Friday evening with a hard-fought 15-11 win in testing conditions.
John Afoa returns to the Gloucester Rugby starting line up to take on Bath Rugby at the Rec in the Aviva Premiership on Friday evening, one of three changes to the side that started against Leicester last weekend.
Great news this afternoon as Cherry and White duo Mat Protheroe and Ollie Thorley have been named to start for England as they open up their Under 20 Six Nations campaign against Scotland in Glasgow this Friday
A number of Gloucester Rugby's Academy players will be part of a Hartpury Rugby squad which will travel to Pennyhill Park on Thursday to train with Eddie Jones' England side in their build up to take on Scotland.