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."
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
Speaking to GRTV after the final whistle, Tom Palmer praised the Cherry and Whites concentration and desire to hold on to a narrow 14-7 victory. The second row topped the tackle charts with 19 as he led the home team's resistance.
Supporters who are still to purchase tickets for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm) are reminded that Early Bird prices are only valid until 6:30pm on Thursday evening.
The Gloucester Wheelchair Rugby team travelled to Fenton Manor Complex, Stoke on Trent last Saturday to take part in the final round of the GBWR Super Series of the season, knowing just one win would be enough to crown them Division 3 Champions.