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.
Henry Purdy, a first half replacement for Charlie Sharples, was amongst the try scorers in the 64-19 victory over Aviron Bayonnais on Saturday evening and told GRTV that it was a professional performance, one the team are happy with.
Gloucester's win in Treviso last week means that they need a bonus point win against Bayonne on Saturday evening to secure a home quarter-final (kick off 8pm), but Tim Taylor wants the team to focus on the performance first and foremost.
Billy Burns and Man of the Match Richard Hibbard spoke to GRTV after the 41-0 win in Treviso, on a day when preparations weren't ideal. They felt the team's attitude was key and also praised the travelling support.
Following the conclusion of the Stade Francais vs Harlequins game today, round six is complete and the quarter-finalists in the European Rugby Challenge Cup are now known with Gloucester set to welcome the Cardiff Blues to Kingsholm.
Knowing a bonus point win would secure a home quarter-final, Gloucester completed their European mission in some style on Saturday evening, sweeping aside a spirited but outgunned Aviron Bayonnais scoring 10 tries on their way to a 64-19 victory.