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."
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.