ALEX BROWN has followed in the footsteps on Andy Hazell by agreeing a three-year contract extension that will keep him at Gloucester Rugby until 2011.
The brilliant second row forward, one of the standout performers in Gloucester's march to Twickenham last season, has been a Kingsholm regular since his switch from Bristol four seasons ago.
In that time Brown has racked up 105 Gloucester appearances in all competitions that has marked him down as one of the most consistent, dependable and complete performers in the Premiership.
The 28-year-old - who has three England caps to his name following appearances during the summer tour to South Africa - is approaching his prime and spoke of his delight at securing his future.
"There are many things I would like to achieve in the game and I want to achieve them with Gloucester," Brown told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
"We are a young and developing squad with plenty of ability and I want to play my part as we build a successful team, not just domestically but in Europe too. Every competition is getting tougher by the season but last year's experience has only made us more determined to challenge for top honours every year.
"I have known Dean Ryan for many years, his vision for the club and understanding of how he wants to achieve it means I am in the right place to realise my goals. Being able to stay at such a great club is tremendous for me.
"I am really pleased everything has been concluded and now we can focus on making a solid start in the Premiership."
The conclusion of Brown's deal follows hot on the heels of Andy Hazell, who also agreed a new three-year extension last week.
Brown is key to Gloucester's strategic line-out operation and head coach Dean Ryan added: "I have had the luxury of working with Alex for a number of years and he is quite simply a phenomenally durable and talented player.
"He has developed massively since joining Gloucester four years ago, not only is he a terrific athlete but as a tactician and organiser there are very few that can match his all-round qualities.
"Alex is the sort of individual you can build a team round in the future - we want Gloucester to be a stable environment to generate success and this signing shows that."
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.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Exeter Chiefs, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reiterated that there are elements of Gloucester's game that are in good shape at present, that the performance against Bath was a step forward from Newcastle but that individual errors are costing the Cherry and Whites dear.
Centre Matt Scott, a try-scorer in Bayonne last weekend, insists that Gloucester are taking nothing for granted when they welcome Benetton Treviso to Kingsholm on Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm).