LUKE NARRAWAY, Gloucester's impressive young number eight, has signed a one-year contract extension that will keep him at Kingsholm until June 2008.
The 23-year-old has made 44 appearances in all competitions since his Premiership debut against Leeds in 2003 and this season he made 18 appearances, scoring two tries. The former England Under-21 and Sevens international is most at home at number eight but can also feature on the flank.
"Luke is already a very good athlete, is versatile and offers plenty of options for us in the back row," said head coach Dean Ryan. "This season he will have learnt a lot following his exposure in the Heineken Cup and Guinness Premiership and we want him to build on it next season.
"We are really pleased with the way the squad has taken shape over the last few months - I firmly believe it will benefit greatly from the last year it has had together and Luke will play an important part in that."
Narraway, who went to school at King's Worcester, added: "We are building something special at this club and I just want the chance to play a part in what Dean Ryan and the rest of the squad are trying to achieve.
"By finishing top of the Guinness Premiership this season we showed we have the quality, durability and desire to consistently challenge for titles.
"The recruitment that has already taken place shows exactly where the club aims to be in the future and I think everyone associated is feeling really positive about next season."
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
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).