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."
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
After a series of contract announcements last week, hooker Richard Hibbard is the latest Gloucester Rugby player to commit to a new contract at the club and told GRTV how much he enjoys playing in the Cherry and White of Gloucester.
A try scorer in the 36-18 Aviva Premiership win over Wasps at Kingsholm on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted that Gloucester would enjoy the moment but can't get too carried away. The team got what they deserved but the winger wants these performances to be more frequent.
England Head Coach Eddie Jones has made two changes to his side to play Australia in Saturday's final match of the Old Mutual Wealth Series at Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 2.30pm, live on Sky Sports 2). Jonny May lines up on the left wing.