GLOUCESTER'S Adam Balding has joined Guinness Premiership side Leeds Carnegie on a three-month loan deal, starting today.
The number eight, who has made two appearances this season - one from the bench in the Guinness Premiership and one start in the EDF Energy Cup - will be part of the Leeds effort until the end of February.
"It is important our players get regular exposure in high-quality competition and the opportunity to be involved with Leeds is a great chance for Adam to gain demonstrate his form," said Gloucester's head coach Dean Ryan.
"Our back row is an incredibly competitive area and we want players fighting for the right to break into it. I think this is good move for him in the short-term."
Balding joined Gloucester in 2004 and ended that season as stand-in captain. In total, he has so far made 105 Premiership appearances for Leicester and Gloucester.
Fly-half Billy Burns was named Man of the Match after the 35-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup victory over Stade Rochelais on Thursday evening, and was full of praise for all his team mates for the win after a short turnaround.
Gloucester have been in good form in recent weeks, but Backs Coach Tim Taylor knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be at their best on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm) against a Stade Rochelais side flying high this season.
Speaking to GRTV after the bonus point win over Bristol, back row Lewis Ludlow revealed that despite a tricky first half, Gloucester backed their skills to come through, a faith that was evident in a strong second half showing.
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
Gloucester's much changed side had to overcome conceding an early try on Thursday evening, but responded in style to down Stade Rochelais by 35 points to 14 in the European Rugby Challenge Cup and set up a mouthwatering return fixture next weekend.
After taking 11 points from their last three games in the Aviva Premiership, including bonus point wins against Wasps and Bristol, Gloucester will be looking to continue their good form when they welcome La Rochelle to Kingsholm.