NICK WOOD, one of the brightest front row prospects in the country, has signed a new two-year contract extension with Gloucester that will keep him at Kingsholm until July 2008.
The loosehead prop, who has represented England at Under-21 level, is regarded as one of the biggest talents at the club by head coach Dean Ryan and joins Mark Foster and Olly Morgan who have already pledged their futures to Gloucester.
Wood has made five starts in all competitions this season and has two tries to his name. In total, he has started 18 times for Gloucester and has made 15 more appearances as a replacement. His new deal will begin in July 2006.
"Nick is a player who has a very bright future and we have made it our business to keep talented players like him at the club," Ryan told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
"He is learning all the time with the players he has around him and developing very quickly. There are not many young, talented props around so to keep him at Gloucester is great news for us."
Wood, who will turn 23 on January 9, has been a senior member of the club for three years after spending two in the Academy set-up that has already produced first team stars like James Forrester and Marcel Garvey.
"The contract is fantastic news because it means I can concentrate on playing rugby and I know my future is secure - that is very important," Wood said.
"I have been pleased with the contribution I have made in the games I have played so far. I would obviously like to play more but I have a player in front of me who is vastly experienced and it is my job to learn from him.
"I am working on ensuring my body can handle the pressures of the game but I like to think I am the future of the club and this contract represents that."
Wood follows Morgan and Foster who have also re-signed new deals with Gloucester as Ryan moves to seal deal for a number of his brightest stars.
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.