JONATHAN PENDLEBURY, the 23-year-old Gloucester second row, has agreed a new two-year contract extension at Kingsholm.
The former Rotherham lock has been outstanding since his senior debut in the European Challenge Cup against Toulon last season and has been named on the bench for Gloucester's Guinness Premiership match against Sale tomorrow.
His new deal will run until the end of the 2009 season and will provide another excellent front jumper option for head coach Dean Ryan.
"When he made his debut he ran the line-out against French opposition and did a fantastic job," head coach Dean Ryan said. "Since then, he has impressed everyone with his work ethic and dedication as a professional.
"What he has achieved is testament to his determination and he is the sort of individual we want to have in our squad."
Pendlebury, who joined Gloucester at the start of last season and has made 22 appearances in all competitions with one try, said: "I am thrilled to have earned a new deal at the club.
"To have the opportunity to continue my progression at a club that is making great strides in the Premiership and Europe is fantastic. Dean Ryan showed a lot of faith in me last season and hopefully I have responded through hard work and application.
"This gives me the chance to learn from some fantastic players in the position and I also want to put pressure on the likes of Alex Brown and Marco Bortolami and try and force my way into the first XV."
As Gloucester prepare for their 39th game of the season, against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday, David Humphreys told the local media that this week has been all about getting the players mentally and physically ready after a tough game against Connacht last Sunday.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-32 victory over Connacht on Sunday, skipper Billy Twelvetrees explained that Gloucester had had to learn to be patient and cut out the errors to earn the win and progress to next weekend's final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.