GLOUCESTER have continued their re-signing process ahead of next season by confirming that tough-tackling flanker Alasdair Strokosch has agreed a new two-year contract.
The former Edinburgh number six, an instant hit at Kingsholm following his move south in the summer, has pledged his immediate future to the Guinness Premiership pace-setters following an excellent start to his Gloucester career.
Already renowned for his work-rate, physicality and durability, Strokosch has forced his way into Gloucester's back row with such determination that head coach Dean Ryan has moved quickly to extend his initial one-year deal.
"Alasdair has been a fantastic addition for us," Ryan said. "He brings an extra dimension to our back row options and it is a testament to his ability that he has stood out in that area considering the options we have available.
"He is powerful, dynamic and a really good athlete. We have already seen his value in a number of highly important games for us and I am sure regular exposure to the Guinness Premiership and Heineken Cup will make him an ever better player.
"Through his work-rate, he has exactly the sort of attitude we want at this club. To have impressed so much in a short space of time shows we were right in signing him last season."
Strokosch (24), who has one Scotland cap, has made 14 appearances in all competitions so far this season. He said: "To have the opportunity to play regularly in such demanding competitions is why I chose to join Gloucester and I am delighted at this new deal.
"I want to make an impression, continue my development and keep on improving. This new contract will allow me to do that with some security behind me. Gloucester is a place that eats, sleeps and breathes rugby and to have that support is a fantastic feeling.
"It was a jump to leave what I knew at Edinburgh in the summer but my decision has been totally vindicated. We have a great group of players with some of the most talented guys I have ever worked with, and to be involved with them on a daily basis means I know I am in the right place to further my career."
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).