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.
Gloucester-Hartpury Women take on West Park Leeds Ladies in the final of the Intermediate Cup Final on Saturday. Head Coach Susie Appleby took time out to preview the game and chat about the future for the team.
Number eight Ben Morgan admitted that the 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol on Friday evening hadn't been pretty at times, but that the win was based on everyone in the squad remaining united and working for each other.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
In the aftermath of the Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell was able to look forward to this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues (Kingsholm, kick off 8:05pm).