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."
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-29 Aviva A League win over Wasps Rugby, Academy Coach Rich Whiffin explained his pride in the squad to overcome a strong opponent and book their spot in next week's Aviva A League final.
Willi Heinz returned from injury to skipper Gloucester to a famous 16-14 win over Stade Rochelais on Saturday evening. Speaking after the game in France, Heinz admitted the win wasn't pretty but was full of courage and a great result for the club.
Billy Burns contributed all Gloucester's points in the 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening, but dedicated the victory to the whole squad whilst also praising the travelling support.
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Speaking to GRTV after Saturday's 39-30 Aviva Premiership win over Sale, Mark Atkinson admitted that the performance wasn't perfect but that the team's character shone through in a game that could easily have slipped away.
Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw is targeting a 'unique' finish to his Gloucester tenure in the European Rugby Challenge Cup final at the venue where his professional playing career began, BT Murrayfield Stadium (Friday 12 May).
Gloucester's young United side once again dug deep to take an illustrious scalp, overturning a half-time deficit to earn a 40-29 victory over Wasps and earn a place in the Aviva Premiership A League final.