GLOUCESTER lock Will James has spoken of the 'fabulous feeling' after being named in Wales' 30-man World Cup squad.
The Kingsholm second row has forced his way into the final cut following a hugely impressive debut season at Gloucester and will join the Ospreys trio of Ian Gough, Alun-Wyn Jones and Ian Evans as Gareth Jenkins' second row options.
He will be joined in the squad by new Gloucester scrum-half Gareth Cooper and James told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk "The news is starting to sink in now and obviously there is a great deal of elation at being involved.
"I am sure the experience will be fabulous and I am just looking to play my part in any way I can.
"When Gloucester offered me a contract last season it was a case of just working as hard as I could to try and force my way into the side. I managed to get some good exposure in the Premiership last season and was then I was named in the Wales training squad - it has been a great year for me.
"It just went from there really and I am absolutely chuffed. We have trained for the last six or seven weeks, have had a couple of conditioning games and I just tried to do the best I could.
"Against England last week there were certain technical elements that did not function well for us and it was very difficult from 1-15 but on the flip side it was a great experience and now I want to build on it."
James (30), who already has experience with Wales A, joined Gloucester last season from the Cornish Pirates. He made 18 appearances in all competitions and scored one try.
Dean Ryan, Gloucester's head coach, added: "Will's inclusion is testament to his outstanding hard work and contribution he made to Gloucester last season. On behalf of everyone at the club, we wish him all the best for the tournament."
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.
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.
Looking to try a new sport? Look no further than Walking Rugby as thanks to Gloucester Rugby you can come along and try out the fast-growing sport at taster sessions across the county, starting this Wednesday.
Gloucester return to European Rugby Challenge Cup action on Thursday evening with the visit of Stade Rochelais to Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm). Early Bird ticket prices are available until 6:30pm on matchday.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.